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A Text Book for 

High Schools. Normal Schools^ and 





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31-33-35 West 15TH Street New York City 

372248 I 

Copyright, 1906 


A TEXT-BOOK on Civics may be written with special refer- 
ence to one state, or may be written with the object of 
presenting a broad treatment which will be applicable to 
all the states. The latter plan has been followed in the 
present volume, but for the benefit of those who may 
desire a fuller treatment of any particular state, a series 
of small supplementary hand-books on special states has 

.been issued by the publishers of this volume. This series 

)now includes volumes devoted to most of the states and 

"will be increased from time to time. 

The syllabus of the Regents of the University of the 
State of New York has been followed in preparing *' Amer- 
ican Civics," and hence chapters on Finance and Law have 
been included. Few teachers will doubt the desirability 
of a brief discussion of these important subjects, especially 
when it is borne in mind that ninety per cent of our high 
school students will never know much of anything about 

"these subjects unless they are presented in a course on 

\ civics. 

^. Some teachers will prefer to begin the subject with a 
ftreatment of the Federal Government, on the ground that 
*" students are better acquainted with our national affairs 

than with matters relating to state and local governments. 

While such a plan may be pursued, the author is convinced 
-that few students, who are beginning the study of civics, 

4cnow enough concerning national matters to be of much 




assistance to them. There are sound historical and peda- 
gogical reasons for beginning the study of civics with local 

The rather neglected field of party management and 
legislative methods has been given considerable space in 
this volume. Without some knowledge of these subjects, 
the student's conception of government is unreal. The 
teacher will have ample opportunity to gather much ma- 
terial on local politics and will have no difficulty in enlist- 
ing the aid of his students. A special study, for example, 
of the management of a recent campaign never fails to be 
stimulating to student and teacher alike. 

References are given at the end of most of the chapters 
to works that are suitable for the use of students in high 
schools. Citations are always to the most recent edi- 
tions, but older editions may readily be used by looking up 
the subject in the index. Few references have been given 
to articles in magazines, on the ground that a library which 
has a collection of periodicals will also contain Poole's In- 
dex or the Cumulative Index, Students will find a large 
number of magazine articles cited in these indexes and 
should be encouraged to make use of them. 

The following books, which may be obtained for less 
than ten dollars, will be found most useful in a high- 
school library : 

Bryce, "American Commonwealth" (unabridged edition). 

Hart, " Actual Government." 

Woodburn, "The American Republic." 

A few newspaper almanacs will be found useful and 
they cost little. The best are those published by the Brook- 
lyn Eagle, New York Tribune, New York World, and 
Chicago New%. 


Some teachers may doubt the value of the " questions 
on the text " printed at the end of each chapter. Most of 
these questions have been taken from among those re- 
cently given in college entrance examinations and by the 
Regents of the University of the State of New York, so 
they will, at least, show the student what kind of questions 
he may expect in such examinations. The '' questions 
suggested by the text " should offer opportunities for 
further study and debate. 

A. G. Fradenburgh. 

Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 20, 1905. 




Necessity of Government — Civil Government and Civics — The State 
— The Origin of the State — Functions of Government — Kinds 
of Government — Monarchy — Democracy — Other Forms of 
Government — Constitutions — Departments of Government — 
Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text . . 



Origins of Town and County Governments — ^ Importance of Local 
Government — Origin of American Local Government — Ori- 
gin of the Town — The Manor — The English Parish — The 
Hundred — The Shire and the County in England — Questions 
on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text 1 1 



Town and County Government in America — Beginnings of the New 
England Town — The New England Town — Origin of County 
Government in New England — The Present New England 
County ^ The Country and People of the South — The Vir- 
ginia Parish — The Beginning of the Virginia County — The 
Present Southern County — Town and County Government in 
the Middle Atlantic States — Town and County Government 
in New York — Local Government in the West — Questions on 
the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — References . . 





The English Borough — Definition of City — Growth of Cities — 
Reasons for Urban Grov/th — City Charters — Departments of 
City Government — The Mayor — Qualities a Mayor should 
Possess — City Administrative Departments — The City Legis- 
lative Department — The Duties of the City Legislative Depart- 
ment — Village Government — ^ Departments of City Activity — 
Police Department — City Streets — The City and Public Edu- 
cation — Public Health — Parks and Recreation -^ Department 
of Charities and Correction — ^ Other Lines of City Activity — 
- The Government of New York City — The Charter —The Bor- 
oughs -^ The Mayor — Administrative Departments — Borough 
President — Boards of Local Improvements — Board of Estimate 
and Apportionment — The Board of Aldermen — Questions on 
the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — References . . 29 



^ Misgovernment in American Cities — The Spoils System — City Poli- 
tics V. State and National Politics — Municipal Home Rule — 
\The City and Naturat Monopolies — Arguments in Favor of 
Municipal Ownership — Arguments Against Municipal Owner- 
ship — Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the 
Text — References 46 



Colonial Government — Colonial Legislatures — Origin of State Gov- 
ernments — ^ Early State Constitutions — Present State Consti- 
tuuons — Written Constitutions — Amendment of State Constitu- 
tions— 'The Sphere of State Governments -^ The Bill of Rights 
— Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text . 55 




State Governments — ^The Executive Department — -The Guber- 
natorial Term — Qualifications of a Governor — Salaries of Gov- 
ernors -^ Other Executive Officers — • State Administrative Boards 
-f- The State and Education — '- Railroad Commissions — - Public 
Charities and Corrections — Other Administrative Boards — 
/ State Legislative Department — Process of Legislation — Initia- 
tive and Referendum — Limitations upon State Legislatures — 
State Pri\aleges Guaranteed by the United States — Relations of 
the States to Each Other — Questions on the Text — Questions 
Suggested by the Text — References on State Governments . . 64 


State Courts — Selection of Judges — Impeachment of Judges — 
Early Form of Trial — ^ Trial by Jury — Criminal and Civil 
Cases— ^ The Beginning of a Criminal Trial — <rrial of a Crim- 
inal Case -^ Trial of a Civil Case — Criticism of the Jury Sys- 
tem — Questions on the Text 77 


Suffrage — Women Suffrage — Registration — Methods of Voting 

— The Counting of Ballots -^ Minority and Proportional Repre- 
sentation — Election Districts — The Caucus and Primary — 

^ Nominating Conventions — ^^ Nomination by Petition — The Party 
Machine — "The Boss — Questions on the Text — Questions 
Suggested by the Text — References 88 


Colonial Conditione — New England Confederation — The Albany 
Conference — The Stamp Act Congress — The First Continen- 
tal Congress (1774) —Second Continental Congress (1775-1781) 

— The Confederation — Nature of Government under the Arti- 
cles of Confederation — The Powers of Congress — Weakness of 
the Government — The Annapolis Conference — Questions on 

the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — References ... 103 



The Meeting of the Federal Convention — The Large v. the Small 
States; The Connecticut Compromise — The Three-Fifths Com- 
promise —'The Third Great Compromise — The Convention's 
Work Finished — Friends and Opponents of the Constitution — 
\The Constitution Ratified — The Sources of the Constitution 
— Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — 




A Federal Republic — Departments of Government — System of 
. Checks and Balances — Powers Given to the United States Gov- 
ernment — Implied Powers — Amendments — The National Bill 
of Rights — Rarity of Amendments — Questions on the Text — 
Questions Suggested by the Text ii8 



A Single Executive — Constitutional Qualifications — Term of Ser- 
vice and Salary — The Powers of the President — Executive 
Power — The Spoils System — Civil Service Reform — Power 
of Removal — The President's Use of Military Power — War 
Powers of the President — Legislative Power — Treaty-making 
Power — Pardoning Power — The Vice-PresideVit — Impeach- 
ment — Presidential Succession — Questions on the Text — 
Questions Suggested by the Text — References 124 


Rise of National Nominating Convention — Selection of Delegates to 
a National Convention — Meeting of a National Convention — 
The Campaign -^ Presidential Electors — Election by the House 
of Rc])resentative3 — The Twelfth Amendment — The Election 
of 1824— The Disputed Election of 1876 — Disputed Elections 
Act of 1887 — Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by 
the Text i35 




The Cabinet — The English Cabinet — The Executive Departments 
— The Department of State — The Diplomatic Service — The 
Consular Service — The Treasury Department — The War De- 
partment — The Na\y Department — The Department of the 
Interior — Post-office Department — The Department of Jus- 
tice — The Department of Agriculture — The Department of 
Commerce and Labor — Separate Commissions and Boards — 
Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — 
References ^43 



Congress — The Senate — QuaHfications of Senators — Election of 
Senators — The House of Representatives — Qualifications for 
Representatives — Apportionment of Representatives — Con- 
gressional Districts — Pri\'ileges and Remunerations of Members 
of Congress — Organization and Methods of Congress — Organ- 
ization of the Senate — The Organization of the House of Repre- 
sentatives — The Speaker of the House — Criticism of the Com- 
mittee System — Committee of the Whole — The Making of a 
Law — Filibustering — Congressional PubUcations — Questions 
on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — References . 159 


Powers Granted to Congress — Limitations upon the Authority of 
Congress — Limitations upon the Powers of Congress and of the 
States — Exclusive Powers of Each House of Congress — Ques- 
tions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text .... 17.3 


Commercial Powers of Congress — Commercial Treaties — The 
Panama Canal — American Shipping — Interstate Commerce — 
Railroad ConsoHdation and Resulting Problems — The Inter- 
state Commerce Commission and its Powers — Anti-Trust Laws 
— Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text — 
References i/S 



Public Finance — Public Expenditures — Public Revenues — Direct 
and Indirect Taxation — Federal Taxation in the United States — 
History of Federal Direct Taxation — Federal Taxes on Imports 

— Excise Taxes — State and Local Taxation — Taxes on Prop- 
erty — Poll Taxes — Corporation Taxes — Franchise Taxes — 
Inheritance and Income Taxes — Other Local Sources of Income 

— Exemptions from Taxation — Public Debts — Local Debts — 
Monetar}' System of the United States — Metallic Money of the 
United States — Coins of the United States — United States 
Paper Money — National Bank Notes — Questions on the Text 

— Questions Suggested by the Text — References 185 


Citizenship — Naturalization — Bankruptcy — Patent and Copyright 
Laws — Military and Naval Powers of Congress — The United 
States Army — General Staff of the Army — The Militia — The 
United States Navy — Questions on the Text — Questions Sug- 
gested by the Text — References 201 


Necessity of Federal Courts — Jurisdiction of Federal Courts — The 
Eleventh Amendment — The Supreme Court — Circuit Court of 
Appeals — Court of Claims — Appointment of Federal Judges 

— Inferior Federal Courts — District Courts — Circuit Courts — 
Court Officers — Relation Between State and Federal Courts 

— Questions on the Text — Questions Suggested by the Text 

— References 209 


The National Domain — Land Policy of the United States — The Re- 
sults of th6 Public Land Policy — Government of Organized 
Territories — Unorganized Territories — How a Territory May 
Become a State — The District of Columbia — Insular Posses- 
sions — Porto Rico — The Philippines — The Sulu Islands — 
The Hawaiian Islands — Guam and Tsutuila — The Insular Pos- 


sessions and the Constitution — Questions on the Text — Ques- 
tions Suggested by the Text — References 215 


Sources of Law — Object of Law — Personal and Real Property — 
Contracts — Conditions Necessary to a Contract — Remedy for 
Broken Contracts — Variety of Contracts — Title and Transfer 
of Real Estate — Mortgages — Contracts to Lease — Transfer 
of Property by Will — Promissory Notes — The Contract of Mar- 
riage — Parents and Children — Guardian and Ward — Master 
and Servant — International Law — Nature of International 
Law — • War — Declaration of War — Rules Affecting Bellig- 
erents — Property of an Enemy in Time of War — Blockade — 
Right of Search — The Declaration of Paris — Obligations of 
Neutrals — Treaties of Peace — International Arbitration — 
Questions on the Text — - Questions Suggested by the Text — 
References 224 


New York as a Dutch Colony — New York as an English Colony — 
The First Assembly — New York as a Royal Province — The 
New York Constitutions — ^ Amendment and Revision — Qua'i 
fications of Voters — Time of Elections — Local Government 
in New York — State Executive and Administrative Officers — 
The State Legislature — The State Judiciary — Courts of 
Justices of the Peace — County Courts — The Su[r(me Court 
— Trial and Special Term", of the Su| rem? Court — Appellate 
Division — Courts of Appeals — Pub'ic Education — The School 
Districts — Union Free Schools — City School Systems — The 
New York State Education Department — Other State Educa- 
tional Activities 287 


Personal Rights — Voting — The Legislature — The Executive De- 
partment — Officers of Administration — The Judiciary — State 
Property and Debts — Corporations, Public Funds — Educa- 
tion — Officers — The Militia — Cities — Oath of Office, Bribery 
and Corruption — Amendments 302 




Necessity of Government. — Man is one of the most 
social of beings; the greater part of the Hfe of most men is 
spent in the company of other human beings. To such 
an extent has this been the case that in all ages, persons 
who have chosen to live by themselves in places remote 
from other men have been regarded as at least peculiar. 

Since men are not morally perfect, there must be in 
every association some rules to govern conduct and some 
power to enforce these rules. Any exercise of authority 
is Government. Such terms as family government, school 
government, and church government are familiar to every- 
one. Society, which is the collective body of persons com- 
posing a community, finds it necessary to regulate the 
conduct of its members. The individual must be protected 
in his person and property against the aggressions of the 
strong and unscrupulous. Disputes between persons are 
sure to arise and there must be some power above the 
individual to decide what is justice and to enforce its 
decision. Moreover, means of protection against possible 
foes is needed and there are works of public utility which 
it would be unwise to entrust to private individuals, or 
which individuals would not find it to their advantage to 
construct. A community organized for the purpose of 


government is called a politically organized community, 
and members of such a community are citizens. 

Civil Government and Civics. — Civil Government is the 
authority w^hich regulates the conduct of citizens among 
themselves and toward the government. The science 
which treats of civil government is usually known as 
Civics. Civics is chiefly concerned with: (i ) the history 
of political development; (2) the organization of govern- 
ment; (3) the rights and duties of citizenship. 

The State. — A State is an independent body of politi- 
cally organized persons occupying a definite territory. The 
State must be the supreme power within its land; the pos- 
session of such power is called sovereignty. If one person 
exercises supreme power the State is a monarchy; if sover- 
eignty is possessed by the people, the State is a democracy 
or a republic. The commonwealths, or "states" of our 
American Union are not real states. They do not possess 
complete sovereignty; there is only one sovereign State in 
America and that is the United States.* 

The Origin of the State. — Many are the theories that 
have been advanced at various times to explain the origin 
of the State. The three leading theories will be considered 
in their historical order. 

I. The Theory of Divine Origin. — The ancient Jews 
considered their State as having been founded by God 
and regarded Him as its ruler. The Greeks and Romans 

' "State-' in this sense is capitalized in this \\oxk\ when used in 
reference to one of the states of our Union no capital is used, except 
in quotations. 


regarded the State as a divine institution though not di- 
rectly ruled by the gods. "It seemed clear to them that 
the destiny of that great moral community which we call 
the State could not be separated from the will and work- 
ing of deity." (Bluntschli.) Righdy interpreted, a 
theory of divine origin is not only defensible, but is enno- 
bling. Man being a "pohtical animal," the State is a 
natural result of his creation. Aristotle was right in say- 
ing that "the State comes into being for the sake of mere 
life, but it continues to exist for the sake of the good life." 
There is nothing inconsistent between a theory that the 
State is a divine institution and the later theories of the 
origin of the State. 

2. The Contract Theory. — According to this theory, 
there was once a time when there was no government, or 
anarchy. So many evils resulted from the absence of 
government that men established the State by mutual agree- 
ment. This theory was advanced by certain philosophers 
in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and was 
widely accepted, especially in France, by the end of the 
eighteenth century. The theory never had any historical 
basis. We know that the individual counted for nothing 
in ancient society and could have made no contract. The 
only truth in the theory is that modern governments are 
often altered by agreement. 

3. The Historical Theory. — This theory ascribes, the 
origin of the State to the political nature of man.' The 
earliest government was that of the father, and the family 
was the germ of the State. 

Homer, in "The Odyssey" (Book IX, 137-140, Bryant's 
translation), describes what was perhaps the earliest form 
of family government: 


"On the mountain heights they dwell 
In vaulted caves, where each one rules his wives 
And children as he pleases; none give heed 
To what the others do." 

A number of families would unite for the purpose of de- 
fense or offense, and the tribe was formed. The fiction of 
common descent would still be preserved. "Suppose a 
single household to move out into the wilds and found a 
new settlement, it begins under the rule of the father, 
who, as new huts are built round the first house, remains 
head of the growing clan; but as old age comes on, his 
eldest son more and more acts in his name, and at his 
death will be recognized as succeeding him in the head- 
ship of the community. Here then, is seen the rise of the 
hereditary chief or patriarch of the tribe, first in rank as 
representing the ancestor, and with more or less real 
authority." ^ This patriarchal system is familiar through 
descriptions in the Old Testament; it to-day exists in many 
parts of the world. When a war begins, the patriarchal 
ruler may be displaced by a war chief who may continue 
to rule after the war is over, thus establishing a new 
dynasty. The union of tribes forms a nation, which is a 
State if it occupies definite territory and is independent. 

This historical or natural theory of the origin of the 
State corresponds to what we know about the early history 
of .government, and is strengthened by our knowledge 
concerning the government of contemporary savage and 
barbarous tribes. 

Functions of Government. — In showing the necessity of 
government, we have already mentioned some of the cliief 

* Tylor, "Anthropology," p. 429. 


functions of government. It is usual to divide the func- 
tions of government into necessary and optional, though 
such a classification cannot be very definite, as among 
some nations functions are regarded as necessary which 
among other nations are considered optional, and what is 
to-day considered necessary may have been regarded as 
optional a few years ago. 

The following classification by President Woodrow Wilson 
("The State," 613-615), not represented as complete, 
gives a fair idea of the functions of government : 

I. The Constituent (or necessary ) Functions : 

1. The keeping of order and providing for the protec- 
tion of persons and property from violence and robbery. 

2. The fixing of the legal relations between man and 
wife and between parents and children. 

3. The regulation of the holding, transmission, and 
interchange of property, and the determination of its 
liabilities for debt or for crime. 

4. The determination of contract rights between indi- 

5. The definition and punishment of crime. 

6. The administration of justice in civil cases. 

7. The determination of the political duties, privileges, 
and relations of citizens. 

8. Dealings of the State with foreign powers; the preser- 
vation of the State from external danger or encroachment, 
and the advancement of international interests. 

These will all be recognized as functions which are 
obnoxious not even to the principles of Mr. Spencer,^ and 
which, of course, persist under every form of government. 

II. The Ministrant (or optional) Functions. It is 
^ As set forth in his pamphlet, Man versus the State. 


hardly possible to give a complete list of those functions 
which I have called ministrant, so various are they under 
different systems of government; the following partial list 
will suffice, however, for the purpose of the present discus- 

1. The regulation of trade and industry. Under this 
head I would include the coinage of money and the estab- 
lishment of standard weights and measures, laws against 
forestalling, engrossing, the licensing of trades, etc., as 
well as the great matters of tariffs, navigation laws, and 
the like. 

2. The regulation of labor. 

3. The maintenance of thoroughfares — including State 
management of railways and that great group of under- 
takings which we embrace within the comprehensive term 
"Internal Improvements," or "Development of the Coun- 

4. The maintenance of postal and telegraph systems, 
which is very similar to 3. 

5. The manufacture and distribution of gas, the main- 
tenance of water works, etc. 

6. Sanitation, including the regulation of trades for san- 
itary purposes. 

7. Education. 

8. Care of the poor and incapable. 

9. Care and cultivation of forests and like matters, 
such as the stocking of rivers with fish. 

10. Sumptuary laws, such as prohibition laws, for 

The extent to which it is wise for a government to under- 
take these ministrant functions is one of the most debated 
questions of the day. Some governments engage in many 


more lines of activity than those enumerated above; the 
tendency is to extend the activity of governments along 
these lines. 

A policy in opposition to governmental activity in indus- 
try and in opposition to interference of the government 
with the liberty of the individual in his industrial activity, 
is called a laisser-faire (let-alone ) poHcy, from the motto 
of the French physiocrats. 

Kinds of Government. — Monarchy. — A. monarchical 
form of government is one in which the government has 
at its head a personal ruler. Monarchies are of two kinds, 
absolute and limited. 

1. The ruler of an absolute monarchy is not subject to 
any definite control; subjects are compelled to obey his 
commands. Even absolute monarchs, if they are wdse, are 
wont to defer more or less to the wishes of their subjects, 
either through a sense of duty or through fear of exciting 
rebellion. The absolute form of monarchy exists among 
civilized nations only in Russia ^ and Turkey. 

2. A limited monarchy is one in which the powTr of 
the ruler is Hmited either by a written document, which 
defines the powders of the sovereign, or by laws and cus- 
toms. Limited monarchies are often called constitutional 
monarchies. A monarchy may be limited to such an 
extent as to make it practically a republic. England is an 
example of such a monarchy, as Bagehot ^ has said, the 
king of England w^ould be obHged to sign his own death 

^ As this chapter is being written, Russia seems to be in throes 
of a revolution which may result in her entering the family of 
constitutional governments. 

^ The " English Constitution," p. 125. 


warrant, if Parliament so decreed. The elective House of 
Commons governs England, and England is, therefore, a 
republic in the guise of a monarchy. 

Democracy. — Democracy is government by the people. 
Democracies are of two kinds, pure democracies and 

1. In a pure democracy the sovereign people express 
their will by means of a popular assembly. Many of the 
Greek city-states so ruled themselves. The New England 
town meeting is an example of a pure democracy, in this 
case limited to local affairs. A pure democracy is, by its 
nature, possible only in small communities. 

2. The people of a republic govern themselves through 
representatives of their own selection. In a republic, just 
as in a pure democracy, the people are sovereign. 

Other Forms of Government. — Aristocracy is govern- 
ment by a class of nobles, or by persons eminent because 
of wealth or culture. In most governments of Europe 
there is one house of parliament that is composed of 
nobles, thus giving an element of aristocracy to the govern- 

A tyranny is a government in which arbitrary power is 
unjustly or arbitrarily exercised. Originally, as used by 
the Greeks, the term tyrant was apphed to any ruler who 
had obtained his position illegally, and it is now some- 
times so used. Sometimes a tyranny is called a despotism. 
A monarchy may be a tyranny ; a rather frequent form of 
despotism has been one created by some successful soldier. 
Many of the so-called republics of South America are in 
fact military despotisms. 


Constitutions. — The fundamental law of a state which 
determines its form of government and the rights and 
duties of citizens is called a constitution. In case the 
nature of the government is expressed in some written 
document, the state is said to have a written constitution. 
The United States and each state in the Union have 
written constitutions. Instead of a written constitution, 
the fundamental law of a state may be based upon a long 
line of customs and concessions gained from kings, in 
which case the state is said to have an unwritten consti- 
tution. It should not be thought that all of the constitu- 
tion is written in the one case, or unwritten in the other. 

The Constitution of the United States has undergone 
many changes, necessary on account of new developments, 
and these changes have generally taken place without 
formal amendments.^ Customs and interpretation have 
had no less effect upon the Constitution of the United 
States than amendments. England has a constitution 
which we call unwritten, but Magna Charta and the Bill 
of Rights have often been called the bulwarks of the 
British Constitution. 

Departments of Government. — Every government must 
have three departments: (i ) A legislature to make the 
laws, (2 ) a judiciary to interpret and apply them, (3 ) an 
executive to enforce the laws. These powers are all exer- 
cised by the same person if the state is an absolute mon- 
archy. In all other forms of government the powers are 
kept more or less distinct. 

In the United States they are carefully separated, yet 

^ See Tiedman, "The Unwritten Constitution of the United 


the President of the United States, primarily an executive 
officer, has the legishitive power of veto and the judicial 
power of pardon, while the Senate acts in certain cases of 
impeachment as a court and exercises executive power in 
confirming certain appointments. 


1. Prove that the State is a necessary organ of society. 

2. Define society, government, civics, sovereignty, constitution. 

3. What are the three leading theories concerning the origin of 
the State? What element of truth is there in each of them? 

4. Distinguish between the necessary and optional functions of 
government. Do you consider the latter functions as really op- 
tional ? 

5. Give an example of an absolute monarchy, a pure democ- 
racy, a military despotism. 


1. Is it true that if all people were good, government would be 
unnecessary ? 

2. Consult a good dictionary in regard to the meaning of the 
words "nation" and ''state." Name a nation which is not rep- 
resented by a state. 

3. Show that democracy is the best form of government for an 
enlightened people. 

4. Name some ministrant or optional functions of government 
not specifically mentioned in the text. 

5. What have been the reasons for the recent increase in the 
exercise of optional functions of government? 


Origins of Town and County Governments 

Importance of Local Government. — Americans live 
under three distinct governmental institutions. For local 
affairs we have the town (or township ), county, village, 
and city. ^Matters of wider interest are intrusted to the 
state, while the Federal Government attends to those 
things which affect the entire nation. Local government 
is concerned with such important affairs as schools, roads 
and bridges, police, minor courts of justice, and the care 
of the poor. Such matters as these have a daily influence 
upon the citizen. It is in exercising local self-government 
that citizens gain the most important political lessons, 
those of experience. Every voter can to some extent 
make his influence felt in local affairs. 

Local governmental institutions differ in one important 
particular from the national and state governments. 
Written constitutions define the activities of our national 
and state governments and within their fields the nation 
and state exercise unlimited authority. Local govern- 
ments have no such power. All local governments are 
subject to the state, which may alter or regulate them at 
its pleasure. Though local governments are subordinate 
to the states they are older than either state or national 

Origin of American Local Government. — Were a com- 
pany of Americans to settle in some location where no 



government had existed, they would have no hesitation in 
deciding what kind of a government to estabhsh. There 
would be one form of government which to them would 
be clearly better than any other form, and that would be 
the one to which they had been accustomed. It is an 
axiom to students of history and government, that institu- 
tions do not suddenly spring into existence, but are the 
results of long experience. The English colonists in 
America brought with them institutions with which they 
were familiar, just as their ancestors long before had 
brought the progenitors of these institutions from the 
Continent of Europe into England. In order to under- 
stand the local government introduced by the colonists it 
is necessary to know something about the institutions with 
which they were familiar before coming to America. 

Origin of the Town. — Long before our Germanic an- 
cestors came to England, they had given up their nomadic 
habits and had settled in groups of families in such places 
as attracted them on account of water, wood, and fertility 
of the soil. For purpose of defense the land occupied was 
surrounded by a strip of waste land called a mark (origin- 
ally meaning boundary ) ; a litde later a hedge or stockade 
called a tun (pronounced toon) marked the boundary of 
the community's land. The entire space enclosed became 
known as the mark or tun; in England the word ''tun" 
or town became the accepted designation. 

Little is known of the nature of government in the 
Germanic mark, but we do know that there was a popular 
assembly and that the government was to a considerable 
extent, at least, democratic. 

At about the middle of the fifth century of the Christian 


era, bands . of Germanic wanderers commenced to cross 
over to England. They went at first for plunder, but a 
little later they commenced to enter England as families 
and tribes for the purpose of finding permanent homes. 
They brought with them their governmental institutions, 
and we find in England the freemen of each town holding 
a tungemot, or town meeting, in which important business 
was transacted and by-laws (town laws) for the govern- 
ment of the town adopted. Every freeman had a right to 
attend this town meeting ; it was therefore a primary 
assembly. In town meeting the principal officers of the 
town were elected by the people, though when the power 
of the great lords grew, the officers of the lord took the 
place of the older elective officers. The principal officers 
were the reeve, or headman, the tithingman, or constable, 
and the beadle, or messenger. 

The Manor. — As early as the beginning of the tenth 
century, the majority of the towns had fallen under the 
control of the great lords, and the lord's stewart and bailiff 
had supplanted the old elective reeve and beadle. The 
Norman Conquest, in 1066, completed the work of destroy- 
ing the old free towns. Feudalism was then fully estab- 
lished, and feudalism had no place for such an institution 
as the old English town. Generally what had been the 
town was now thought of as a lord's possession and be- 
came known as a manor, a French term denoting dwelling 
place. Most of the officers of the manor were representa- 
tives of the lord, but not every vestige of self-government 
was lost. The idea of town meeting still was kept alive 
by the court-leet and court-baron, two assemblies which, 
however, had little real influence. 


The English Parish. — The parish is a much older 
institution than the manor. After the Anglo-Saxons had 
been converted to Christianity, the need of some unit for 
ecclesiastical administration arose. This unit naturally 
coincided in area with the old township, though at times 
two or more townships were included in a parish. 

Church business was transacted in an assembly known 
as a vestry meeting, so called since it was held in the room 
where vestments were kept. The vestry meeting gained 
the power of voting the taxes for the support of the church, 
and became concerned with certain civil affairs. All rate 
payers might speak and vote in vestry meeting. In the 
parish, local self-government was kept alive, after it had to 
a great extent disappeared in the manor. 

The Hundred. — The hundred, like the town, was an 
ancient Germanic institution. The origin of the name 
** hundred" is not exactly known; it seems first to have 
been applied to a group of towns which furnished an 
hundred warriors to the army. li\ England the hundred 
is first mentioned in the laws of Eadgar, though it probably 
existed from the time of the first Germanic settlement. 

The hundred, after Germanic institutions had assumed 
definite shape in England, was a governmental district 
composing several townships, but smaller than a county. 
The hundred as it existed in England was chiefly for 
judicial purposes. There was an hundred court, which 
was composed of the chief lords of the hundred and "the 
reeve and four best men" from each township. The 
hundred court was not, therefore, a primary assembly, but 
was a representative assembly. 

"In this we sec the germ of that representative system 


which characterizes English civil and ecclesiastical gov- 
ernment. From this humble beginning it has gradually 
expanded until it now embraces the United Church in 
convocation and the United Kingdom in the House of 
Commons; while in America it has proven its capacity to 
bind together in a strong union a still broader empire. 
Simple as is the expedient of popular representation, it 
never once occurred to the Hellenic or Roman world save, 
perhaps, vaguely in the decline of the Grecian States." ^ 

The Norman Conquest caused the hundred to decline, 
and, though revived from time to time, it was of little 
importance in England when American colonization was 
taking place. 

The Shire and the County in England. — Our forefathers 
settled in England not merely as groups of families, or 
clans, but also as groups of clans or tribes. Just as the 
clans became the makers oftow^nships, so the tribes formed 
governmental bodies called shires. 

The name ''shire" was first applied to the people of a 
tribe as is indicated in such shire names as Essex (East 
Saxons), Sussex, etc. Each shire had a representative 
assembly known as the shire-mote. To this shire-mote 
came the lords, the "reeve and four best men" from each 
township, and when boroughs and cities grew they also 
sent representatives. The shire-mote was chiefly a judicial 
body though it possessed some legislative power. The 
leading man of each shire was known as an "ealdorman." 
The shires in time grew into kingdoms, several shires 
uniting made larger kingdoms, and at last the king of the 
West Saxons became king of all England. The shire 
remained as an organ of local government after England 
^ Howard, "Local Constitutional History," p. 22. 


became a kingdom. There were now two ealdormen ap- 
pointed by the king in each shire, and a shire reefe (sheriff ) 
elected by the people. 

The Norman Conquest deeply affected the shire, as it 
did all old English institutions; its name was changed to 
county, because it was similar to a local division in France 
over which a count {comes ) presided. The shire-mote 
became a county court in which the king's justice tried 
cases. There were no longer any ealdormen, and the 
sheriff was appointed by the king and w^as responsible to 
him. The sheriff was the king's chief officer in the 
county; to him was entrusted the duty of seeing that taxes 
were collected, and of summoning jurors and seeing that 
the judgments of the court were enforced. Another im- 
portant officer was the coroner (crowner), originally ap- 
pointed by the king, but since the time of Edward I 
elected. His duties were to hold a court of inquiry over 
any sudden calamity such as unexpected death, loss of 
property by fire, etc. In time, the coroner's duty was 
limited to holding inquests over sudden deaths. Edward III 
commenced the practice of appointing justices of the 
peace. Originally there were six of these officers in each 
county. They were appointed originally to check brigan- 
dage, but their power gradually increased until their courts 
supplanted the old county court. Sessions of the court 
were held quarterly, hence called Courts of Quarterly 

Note. — English local institutions have been greatly changed 
since the seventeenth century. Some of these changes were 
taking place at the time of colonization of America; 
especially is this true of the vestry meeting, which was losing its 
democratic character. 



1. Why should Americans be interested in the study of English 
governmental institutions? 

2. Describe the origin of the English town, hundred, and shire. 

3. Show what changes took place in the town, hundred, and 
shire, as a result of the Norman Conquest. 

4. What importance is attached to the hundred court because of 
its being a representative body? 


1. If local government is of so much importance, why is it so 
often neglected by the people? 

2. In what sense is the word "parish" now used in the United 

3. Can we anticipate that the Republic of Cuba will be gov- 
erned as vv-ell as though its inhabitants were of Anglo-Saxon origin ? 


Town and County Government in America 

Beginnings of the New England Town. — The earliest 
colonists came to New England not as individuals, but as 
members of church organizations, often led by their pastors. 
One of their first acts usually was to erect a church build- 
ing at some convenient point. They were generally Con- 
gregationalists, who believed that each church should be 
independent and self-governing. Near the church was, as 
a rule, a strip of land owned by the whole community, the 
beginning of the New England common. These little 
communities were bound together not only by the ties of 
the church, but also by the necessity of defense against 
hostile Indians and the not far distant French. On a 
commanding spot they erected a blockhouse, or fort, to 
which they might retire in time of danger. The character 
of the soil was a further bond of union. New England 
does not tempt persons to take up large estates; much 
labor on a small area of land is necessary in order to make 
a living from the soil. Among the colonists there were 
social distinctions, but no sharp divisions into social classes. 

The settlers, being at first left pretty much alone by 
the home government, managed civil and religious affairs 
to suit themselves. Even before landing, the Pilgrims, 
while the Mayflower was lying off Cape Cod, drew up a 
notable agreement in regard to government. This famous 
document, signed by the forty-one adult males of the 
company on November ii, 1620, read as follows: 


''We whose names are under- written, the loyall subjects 
of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, by ye grace 
of God of Great Britaine, Franc, & Ireland king, defender 
of ye faith, &c., haveing undertaked, for ye glorie of God 
and advancements of ye Christian faith, and honour of 
our King and Countrie, a voyage to plant ye first Colonic 
in ye Northerne parts of Virginia, doe by these presents 
and solemnly and mutually in ye presence of God, and 
one of another Covenant and combine ourselves togeather 
into a civill body pohtick, for our better ordering and 
preservation and furtherance of ye ends aforesaid; and hy 
vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just 
and equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and 
offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete 
and convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonic, unto 
which we promise all due submission and obedience." 

The government which the colonists estabhshed was 
modeled upon the type of the English parish, w^hich still 
had a general meeting of the rate payers and possessed 
both civil and ecclesiastical functions. Church and State 
were closely related at first, and in some colonics only 
church members could vote. Taxes were levied for church 

In coming to America new vitality was given to what 
remained of English democratic institutions, so that, as 
has often been stated, the Germanic mark was uncon- 
sciously revived in New England. 

The New England Town. — In local affairs the people of 
a New England town ^ govern themselves directly by 

^ In many parts of the country the term ''township" is used 
instead of "town." Town in this sense has, of course, no rela- 
tion to village. 


means of a popular assembly composed of all the voters. 
New England town government is therefore pure democ- 
racy. There is an annual town meeting, usually in March, 
which holds sessions in the town hall. Special meetings 
may be held whenever necessity arises. At the town 
meeting any voter has the right to make motions and 
support them with his voice. A moderator, chosen at the 
meeting, presides over its deliberations. All important 
town officials are chosen at the town meeting, the most 
important of which are the selectmen of whom there are 
from three to nine. The selectmen act as executive offic- 
ers for the town in all cases, unless other provision is made 
by the town meeting, and have general charge of town 
interests. In legal matters they represent the town, which 
is legally a public corporation. Other town officials are 
the town clerk, treasurer, school committee, constables, 
tax collectors, and assessors. Among the usual minor 
officials are field drivers, who take stray animals to the 
pound, fence viewers, to whom disputes over boundary 
fences may be referred and who may order fences and 
walls built or repaired, surveyors of lumber, and sealers 
of weights and measures. To the town meeting belong 
all the essentials of local government. It passes local 
enactments and makes provision for such important 
matters as schools, roads, poor relief, and assessment and 
collection of taxes. New England towns seldom exceed 
five square miles in area and the population is not large.^ 
The town meeting is not suited to the government of a 

* Generally between 1,200 and 2,500. "In population they 
vary from Cambridge, New Hampshire, with seventeen people, 
to Warwick, Rhode Island, with 21,000 people." — Hart, "Actual 
Government," p. 170. 


large population, and when population reaches such a 
figure as to make it desirable, a city charter is generally 
sought. In some parts of New England town government 
has been disadvantageously affected by the foreign popu- 
lation; however, the town meeting remains "the most 
characteristic and vital element of local government in 
New England." 

Origin of County Government in New England. — The 

county as established, in America was modeled upon the 
English county or shire. Counties first appear in Massa- 
chusetts owing to a demand for judicial districts between 
the township and the province. In 1636, the General 
Court appointed Boston, Cambridge, Salem, and Ipswich 
as places for the holding of quarterly courts.^ 

Massachusetts was divided into four "sheires" or 
counties in 1643, the jurisdiction being about the same as 
provided in the act of 1636. Connecticut was divided into 
counties in 1665, Plymouth in 1685, and Rhode Island in 
1703. Counties were little more than divisions for judicial 
purposes, though in Connecticut the train bands of the 
town united to form a county regiment, and in Massachu- 
setts the county, in addition to being a judicial district, 
was a higher military district, an area for tax rating and 
equahzation, and a factor in certain official nominations.^ 

^ The records of many of these courts are still preserved. Such 
entries as the following are quite common: 

''Geo. Dill fined 40^ for drunkenes, & to Stand at the meeting 
hous doar next Lecture Day, w'^ a Clefte stick vpon his Tong, 
& a pap (er) vpon his hatt subscribed for gross p'meditated Lying." 
— " Hist. Coll., Essex Inst.," Vol. VII., p. 239. See Howard, ''Local 
Const. Hist.," pp. 326-327. 

2 Howard, "Local Const. Hist.," Vol. I, pp. 327-357- 


The Present New England County. — Throughout New 
England the county remains chiefly a judicial district, in 
Rhode Island it is nothing more. Each county maintains 
the usual court machinery. In some cases the care of the 
poor is a county function, though it usually falls to the 

In Massachusetts the county is more highly developed 
than in any other New England state; a brief account of 
county government in that state is therefore appended. 
In each county of Massachusetts, the Superior Court of the 
state tries cases, and must hold at least two sessions an- 
nually. A probate court has charge of matters relating 
to wills, estates, and guardianships. The chief executive 
ofhcer of the courts is the sheriff, who is elected by the 
people for a term of three years. It is his duty, in addi- 
tion to seeing that the decisions of the court are executed, 
to maintain order within the county. In case disorder 
arises which he is unable to suppress, he may summon 
a body of citizens {posse comitatus ) to his assistance. 
Should disorder still continue, he may call upon the gov- 
ernor of the state for troops. An appeal, through the 
state legislature, or the governor if the legislature be not 
in session, may be made to the President of the United 
States for Federal aid. 

The governor appoints justices of the peace within each 
county for a term of seven years. They have authority 
to administer oaths, unite persons in matrimony, issue 
certain warrants, and preside oxqy trials in certain petty 
cases. Three county commissioners have general charge of 
the county property. They serve for a term of three years, 
one retiring each year. The commissioners represent the 
county, which is legally a corporation, in all suits at law 



to which it may be a party, apportion county taxes among 
the towns and have charge of county highways. 

A county treasurer receives and disburses the county 

The Country and People of the South. — Conditions in 
the South were quite different from those in New England. 
Here the soil was as a rule rich and invited settlers to 
large estates. Convenient rivers offered means of trans- 
portation, often to the very storehouses of the planters. 
The settlers as a rule did not come from religious motives, 
and hence the church did not serve as a common bond. 
There was no such need of common defense against the 
Indians as in New England. Villages were few. The 
planter generally sent his goods to the markets of England, 
the West Indies, or the northern colonies, and imported 
what goods he could not raise on his own estates. 

Instead of the homogeneous population of New England, 
there were sharp social divisions. At the top of the social 
scale were the planters, who monopolized political power; 
at its foot were the poor whites, descendants of indentured 
white servants,^ and negro slaves. Between them there 
was no adequate middle class. For such a population the 
democratic New England form of government was unsuited. 
Local government in the South was of many varieties, 
but that of Virginia serves as a fair example. 

^ Indentured white servants came from three classes: (i) free 
persons who could not pay their passage, and hence contracted to 
sell their labor for a term of years to some one who would advance 
the money to pay the expense of the journey; (2) English political 
or criminal offenders sold in servitude for a term of years; (3 ) a 
small class of colonists sold into servitude for a term of years on 
account of criminal offenses or for non-payment of debts. 


The Virginia Parish. — The English })arish was intro- 
duced into Virginia, but it never became a democratic insti- 
tution. For church purposes there was a select vestry of 
twelve men, at first elected by the people, but they obtained 
the power of filling vacancies in their own body, and thus 
became a '' close corporation." In addition to their eccle- 
siastical duties they usually acted as overseers of the poor. 

The Beginning of the Virginia County. — In 1634 the 
legislature of Virginia divided the colony into eight sliires, 
and these speedily became the units of local government. 
The governor appointed justices of the peace, usually 
eight in number, who composed a county court similar to 
the English Court of Quarter Sessions. This court in 
time began to nominate candidates to fill vacancies in its 
own body, and the governor generally appointed the nomi- 
nees without question. The county court was now like 
the parish vestry, a close corporation. In addition to its 
duties as a judicial body, the court appointed highway 
surveyors and constables, assessed county taxes, and had 
care of county property. The county sheriff, appointed 
by the governor, was, in addition to his duties as executive 
officer of the court, a collector of taxes and county treasurer. 
In Virginia and the South generally, the great mass of the 
people had little to do with local government, and therefore 
failed to receive the political education wliich the town 
meeting so abundantly gave New England. The county 
system did, however, and notably in Virginia, develop able 
political leaders among the aristocracy of the planters. 

The Present Southern County. — Throughout the South 
the county remains the unit of local government, notwith- 


standing efforts to introduce the town system. In most of 
the southern states there are elected from three to five 
commissioners, whose duties are similar to those of the 
Massachusetts commissioners. 

Practically all local government belongs to the county, 
though in every state there are subdivisions of the county 
which are school districts. In Louisiana the district corre- 
sponding to the county of other states is called the parish, 
and in Delaware the old hundred survives in name and is 
the unit for representation in the state legislature. 

Town and County Government in the Middle Atlantic 
States. — The middle states in reference to population as 
well as in the character of the country, are midway between 
New England and the South. Their system of local gov- 
ernment, as might be expected, is a compromise between 
the extremes of town and county types. In the middle 
states, Pennsylvania inclines most to the county type, 
while New York has a system of local government in which 
the town is still an important factor. 

In Pennsylvania, county and townsliip date from early 
colonial times. William Penn reconstructed local govern- 
ment in the colony, so that most of the important functions 
were given to the county, and there they have remained 
to the present time. Most of the county officers are elected 
by the people. Each county has a board of three county 
commissioners, one of whom must belong to the minority 
political party, elected for a term of three years. The 
county commissioners have charge of the county property, 
represent the county in court, and fix the county tax rate, 
though the taxes are collected by township collectors. 
Each county has such officials as sheriff, treasurer, clerk 


of courts, register and recorder, prothonotary, coroner, and 
auditor. A district attorney, elected ])y tlic peoi)le, is 
prosecuting attorney in criminal cases. A county judge, 
elected for a term of ten years, presides over the county 
courts. The Pennsylvania township is of minor impor- 
tance. There are no town meetings. In each township 
are road supervisors, tax assessors and collectors, six 
school directors, two justices of peace, and a constable. 
The care of the poor is a township function, except in 
counties possessing poorhouses. 

Town and County Government in New York. — In New 

York the town assumes greater importance than in any 
other of the Middle Atlantic states. Its history begins in 
the village assemblies of the Dutch, which evolved into 
town meetings under English occupation. Town meetings 
are held every two years, generally on the second Tuesday 
of February, though they may be held any time between 
February first and ^lay first. At the town meeting by- 
laws are adopted and other town business, including the 
election of officers, transacted. The supervisor is the chief 
town executive officer. In addition to his executive dutie's 
he acts as treasurer, except in case of moneys raised for 
poor relief and for bridges and highways, and represents 
the town in legal actions to which it is a party. Other 
town officials are town clerk, four justices of peace, con- 
stables (number to be determined by vote of the town, 
but not to exceed five), three tax assessors, a tax collector, 
highway commissioners, and usually an overseer of the 
poor, though often the county attends to poor relief. 

A board of supervisors, composed of the supervisor from 
each town, has general charge of county business. The 



duties of the board are similar to those of the Penn- 
sylvania county commissioners. A county court is main- 
tained, except in New York county, over which a 
judge elected by the voters for a period of six years pre- 

In counties having a population of over 40,000 there 
is a surrogate's court. The surrogate is elected for a 
term of six years, and his court has charge of the settle- 
ment of estates, the guardianship of orphans, and matters 
relating to wills. Where there is no surrogate, the 
county judge acts as surrogate. Other county officials 
are the sheriff, four coroners, county clerk, county 
treasurer, superintendent of poor, and a school commis- 

Local Government in the West. — Local government 
throughout the West resembles the system of New York 
or Pennsylvania, and is, therefore, a compromise between 
the town and county system. In some states the town is 
the more important; in others the cliief functions of local 
government are exercised by the county. The men who 
established state and local governments in the West were 
chiefly emigrants from the eastern states, and as a rule 
they followed parallels of latitude in their western journey. 
The tendency everywhere was to establish a form of local 
government similar to that which the settlers had been 
accustomed in the East. In settling the public domain at 
least one section (640 acres ) in every township was reserved 
for school purposes. This princely endowment not only 
served the cause of public education, but had its effect on 
local government. The township was foreordained to be 
a school district at least. 



1. Show the influence of the character of the country on local 
government in New England and the South. 

2. Compare the merits of the town with the county system of 
local government. 

3. Describe the origin of local government in the West. 

4. Why is the town meeting not suitable for a large population? 

5. Describe the duties of the sheriff. 


1. Describe town and county government in your own state. 
Is its local government modeled upon the town, county, or "mixed" 
system? Account for its system. 

2. What restrictions are placed upon the action of town and 
county governments in your state? (Consult a lawyer if con- 

3. Show how it happens that in some states there is more than 
one system of local government in operation. Bryce, I, 600-601. 

4. How many towns (or townships) are there in your county? 
How many counties in your state? 

5. Why are counties and townships more equal in size in the 
West than in the East, and why are boundary lines more regular 
in the West? 

6. Are there any counties in your state that are not divided 
into towns (or townships ) ? 


Bryce, "American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chapters XLVIII, 

Hart, "Actual Government," Chapter X. 

Wilson, " The State," §§ 1033-1040, 1209-1259. 

Fiske, " Civil Government," pp. 16-97. 

The Johns Hopkins University Studies contain many valuable 
monographs on local government in various states. 



The English Borough. — The English borough was an 
outgrowth of the Anglo-Saxon tun. Several of these com- 
munities, when near together, would gradually unite in a 
larger group and build a fort, which was called a burg or 
borough, a name which in time was applied to the entire 

In the earliest times the borough differed from the town 
only in size and strength, but when the smaller towns 
became subject to a lord, the boroughs retained a larger 
portion of liberty. 

The borough, being comparable to an hundred, soon 
gained its own court and, when its size made it comparable 
to a county, it obtained a sheriff and a higher court, similar 
to a county court. 

Within these boroughs commerce and manufacturing 
flourished and the persons engaged in these pursuits 
united in associations, called guilds, which were designed 
to protect them from the feudal nobihty and otherwise to 
benefit the members. In time every important borough 
had its guilds, such as those of mercers, goldsmiths, weavers, 
etc. The guilds became pohtically the masters of the 
city, as we may now call the borough, and in time united 
in one great city organization. English kings, both in 
order to attach the cities to themselves and to obtain 
money, the need of which kings always felt, would grant 
the cities important immunities and privileges in exchange 
for cash payments. A written document, known as a 




charter, certified that the city was entitled to these benefitF 
and was signed by tlie king. Great feudal lords in th^ 
same manner often granted immunities. In this mann 
English cities, as well as those on the Continent, became 
centers of liberty. Henry II and his immediate successors 
granted many such charters. By the fourteenth century most 
of the authority of the guilds passed to the borough, or citv. 

The borough regulated trade and commerce, even to the 
extent of quality and maximum price of food, controlled 
public markets, fixed the rate of wages, maintained armed 
forces, and exercised many functions which we now regard 
as belonging to the nation. Many boroughs had the 
privilege of maintaining their own courts, over which 
magistrates elected by the citizens presided. A much 
prized borough privilege was the sending of representatives 
to the House of Commons. 

The boroughs gradually fell from their high positions; 
even in the fourteenth century they began to decline in 
political importance. 

Owing to the growth of national sentiment, increased 
means of communication, and industrial changes, national 
regulations replaced city authority, and the cities lost their 
independent positions. Membership in the municipal cor- 
poration was restricted until the borough became a close 
corporation. Such was the condition of English cities 
when American cities were beginning to rise, and such it 
remained until the municipal reform acts of 1832 and 1835. 

English cities at that time ailorded America no example 
of good city government, yet they furnished the models 
for our earliest city governments. 

Definition of City. — The term ''city" does not convey 
the same impression in all parts of the United States. In 



Tiany parts of the West a population of a few hundred 
iffices for a city charter; in other parts of the country 
aces with a population of several thousand are still or- 
ganized as towiTs or villages. Some states require a certain 
population prior to the incorporation of a community as 
a city; others have no definite requirements. For census 
purposes the United States Census Bureau classes all places 
of a comparatively small area containing 8,000 or more 
inhabitants as cities. An urban community with a popu- 
lation of 8,000 or more may be regarded as a city whether 
legally so or not; its needs and responsibilities class it as 
a city. 

Growth of Cities. — In all progressive countries cities 
have grown very rapidly within the last thirty years. The 
following table shows the increase in the urban population 
of the United States since 1790, the year of the first census. 

Census Years. 










of places. 

























Per cent of 

urban of 
total popu- 






Population of places of 8,000 inhabitants or more at each census. 


When the first census was taken there were only six 
places which could boast a population of 8,000 or more, 
and Philadelphia, the largest of these, had only 42,000 
inhabitants. To-day New York City with its 3,437,202 
people, needs less than half a million more inhabitants in 
order to equal the entire population of the United States 
in 1790. In the North Atlantic states 51.81 per cent of 
the population now live in cities, and in New York and 
Massachusetts, the population in the rural districts is 
actually decreasing. 

Reasons for Urban Growth. — The chief reasons for the 
growth of cities have been economic. Every improvement 
in farm machinery has lessened the comparative number 
of laborers needed in rural districts and every improve- 
ment in transportation has led to the growth of manufac- 
turing and commercial establishments in the cities. Man- 
ufacturing plants and commercial establishments have been 
concentrated in cities to a large degree. Most men who 
have left the country for the city have done so because the 
latter offered better business advantages. 

City Charters. — Every city is a public corporation, 
created by an act of the state legislature. This legislation 
is known as a charter. The charter provides for all de- 
partments of city government. In some of the states 
there is a general form of charter, applicable to all cities 
of a certain size. This plan is regarded as superior to 

Note. — The increase in urban population, contrary to popular 
opinion, is not peculiar to the United States. In the decade 1890- 
1900 Hamburg increased in population more rapidly than Chicago, 
Munich more rapidly than BufTalo, Frankfort more rapidly than 
Pittsburg, Leipzig more rapidly than St. Louis. 


special charter legislation as it prevents mistakes and too 
hasty action. 

There is a great variety of city government in states 
which have no uniform plan of charters. City charters 
are frequently very elaborate instruments, much more ex- 
tensive than the national or state constitutions; the original 
charter (1898) of the present city of New York contains 
750 pages. Charters differ from constitutions in that they 
may be altered or amended at the pleasure of the state 

Departments of City Government. — Municipal courts, 
presided over by elective magistrates and judges, exist in 
all our large cities, but they are really branches of the 
state judiciary and will be treated in that connection. 
Each city has also executive and legislative departments. 

The Mayor. — At the head of the executive department 
of the city stands the mayor, elected by the people for a 
term of from two to five years. City charters granted 
prior to the middle of the last century so carefully limited 
the power of the mayor as to make him subordinate to the 
city councils. So poorly did this plan work that it was 
supplanted by a division of power between mayor and 
councils. Divided authority, however, means divided re- 
sponsibility, and there has been a steady movement toward 
concentrating executive authority in the hands of the 
mayor, so as to make him responsible for the administra- 
tion of the entire city. His veto power makes him also 
responsible, in a large measure, for legislative acts. A 
''responsible mayor" is given power to appoint and remove 
heads of departments, such as cliief of police, park com- 


missioners, etc., and hence tlie mayor is responsible for 
the actions of his appointees. Tlie ])()wer of a responsible 
mayor is so great that it is supposed citizens will see that 
an efficient man is chosen, and experience in the United 
States has shown the wisdom of this plan.^ 

The melancholy experience of Minneapolis, whose 
mayor in 1902 dealt wholesale in i)ermits to violate the 
law, shows what power for evil may be exercised by a 
responsible mayor and may well serve as an ''horrible 

Qualities a Mayor Should Possess. — That a mayor 
should be honest is axiomatic, but it is also equally true 
that he should possess training for the important duties 
which belong to his position. A good "business man" 
will not necessarily possess the peculiar ability required for 
an efficient mayor, and many an honest man has proven a 
miserable failure in that office. 

The ideal mayor must have knowledge along a number 
of lines. "He must l3e sufficiently experienced to recog- 
nize the interests of the city when selfish and designing 
men are seeking to enrich themselves at public expense. 

" He must especially have large knowledge about all 
businesses engaged in furnishing the so-called public utili- 
ties, so as to know what may be demanded when private 
corporations are engaged in supplying these utilities, and 
wliat is a right standard when they are supplied by the 

* English cities, on the contrary, have achieved good government 
by concentrating authority in the hands of the city councils. The 
mayor, appointed ])y the council, acts as its agent. Were it pos- 
sible to elect able and honest men to membership in the city coun- 
cils, such a plan would doubtless succeed as well in America. 


municipality. Especially must the mayor, along with a 
backbone of iron, have expert knowledge concerning all 
franchise questions." ^ He must have sufficient know- 
ledge along the line of each department of city activity to 
appoint experts as department heads and to hold them to 
their full duty. 

The salary of the mayor should be sufficient to attract 
men of ability. New York pays its mayor $15,000 a year; 
Boston follows with $10,000 a year. 

German cities regard the position of mayor as a profes- 
sion. The mayor is not chosen because he happens to be a 
genial man and belongs to the dominant political party, but because 
of his special training and experience. The city councils appoint 
mayors for long terms; in Prussia they may be appointed for life. 
A successful mayor is often called to serve another city at an in- 
creased salary. -The following translation of an advertisement in 
the "Berliner Tageblatt" is taken from Dr. Ely's suggestive little 
book, "The Coming City." 

Vacant Mayor's Position. 

It is desired to fill at once the position of mayor in this city, to 
whom are intrusted also the duties of the registration and vital 
statistics office. The yearly salary is 4,800 marks, and the pension 
to which the mayor becomes entitled amounts to the same sum. 

Candidates who have passed the second examination for the 
higher judicial or administrative service are respectfully requested 
to send in their applications with a short sketch of their life, not 
later than the 30th of x\ugust to the undersigned. 

The Chairman of the Municipal Council, Otto. 

LucKENWALDE, July 15, 1891. 

City Administrative Departments. — A city comptroller, 
or auditor, has charge of the city accounts and must decide 
upon the legaHty of all payments. The comptroller is 

' Ely, "The Coming City," pp. 40-41. 


usually elected by the people. Experience has shown that 
the department of finance should not be under the control 
of the mayor, but should be independent, and thus serve 
as a check upon other departments. 

Such important departments as those of police, health, 
fire, street cleaning, parks, etc., arc in the hands of either 
a single commissioner or of a commission. Heads of 
these departments are generally appointed by the mayor, 
who has also power of removal. Sometimes appointments 
and removals are subject to the approval of the city council. 

The department of education is separate from the other 
departments. The members of the board of education, 
either appointed by the mayor or elected by the people, 
choose the superintendent of schools and have charge of 
all matters relating to the public schools. 

The City Legislative Department. — The legislative body 
of most cities consists of a single chamber, usually called 
the city council, the members of which are elected from 
wards or other districts for a term of from one to four 
years. In many cities the legislative department is bi- 
cameral, the upper and less numerous body being chosen 
for a longer term than the larger lowxr chamber. The 
upper chamber is often called the board of aldermen. In 
some cities members of the upper chamber are chosen from 
the entire city or from large districts. This is done in the 
hope that abler men will be elected than if they were chosen 
from wards. Councilmen serve cither without pay or for 
a small remuneration. 

New York City pays her aldermen, who serve for a term 
of two years, a salary of $i,ooo a year, which is an unusually 
large amount for such service. 


The Duties of the City Legislative Department. — The 

authority of the city councils is strictly limited by the 
charter. Legislative acts of the council are known as 
ordinances and cover such local subjects as police regula- 
tions, opening of new streets, etc. The authority of city 
councils has been much limited by the creation of special 
departments under commissioners responsible to the mayor. 
Ordinances having passed the city council must be ap- 
proved by the mayor before becoming effective, though 
they may be passed over the mayor's veto by a two-thirds 

Among the most important duties pertaining to the city 
council is the granting of franchises for the construction 
and operation of street railways, gas and electric light 
works, and telephone lines. 

To the city council financial affairs are usually entrusted ; 
it must provide revenue by taxation or other means and 
must vote all appropriations of public funds. In some 
cities, including New York, a board of estimate and ap- 
portionment prepares the annual budget, or estimate 6f 
appropriations, which may then be submitted to the council. 

The National Municipal League has presented a plan 
for a model city charter.^ According to this plan there 
should be: 

1. A council of one chamber. Members to be elected 
on a general ticket for terms of six years, and serve without 
pay. One-third to be elected every two years. 

2. The mayor to serve for a term of two years. All 
heads of departments, except the comptroller, to be ap- 
pointed by the mayor. Subordinates to be appointed on 
the basis of a civil service examination. 

' In ** Municipal Program," pp. 187-224. 


3. A comptroller to be elected by the city council, who 
wcHilcl be tlie head of the financial department. 

Village Government. — Communities smaller than cities, 
Ijut which have some of the needs of an urban population, 
such as police protection, water works, and fire department, 
are organized as villages/ Village government is like city 
government in miniature and needs no extended descrip- 
tion. Villages differ from cities in remaining a part of 
the town government, and in that they possess less exten- 
sive financial powers than cities. "The motive for passing 
from town government to city government in general has 
been the same everywhere — to acquire a certain readi- 
ness of action, and to make more available the credit of 
the community in order to provide adequately for its own 
growth." (Bryce. ) 


Police Department. — City government is much more 
complicated than rural government. Constables, who 
usually have time to engage in private business in addition 
to their official duties, are sufficient to keep order within 
a town. A large population, often composed of many 
persons of foreign birth, ofi"ers better opportunities for 
crime.^ The city needs a permanent police force adequate 
to enforce the law. New York finds it necessary to main- 
tain a police force of over 7,000; Chicago has a force of 
about 3,000 men. 

' Known as boroughs in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. 

* The percentage of foreign born in New York is 42, in Chicago 
41, and in Philadelphia 25. See Wright, " Practical Sociology," 
pp. 118, 122. 



City Streets. — A city needs a good system of public 
streets, well paved, and well cleaned. The leading busi- 
ness streets must be paved with material sufficiently dur- 
able to withstand a heavy traffic. The laying out of city 
streets usually belongs to the city council; keeping them 
in repair is delegated to the street department; and the 
cleaning of the streets is usually given to a special depart- 

The City and Public Education. — The city school system 
is always more extensive than is possible in a rural com- 
munity. The financial resources of the city are such that 
it can secure the best material equipment and it can pay 
salaries sufficient to attract the most efficient teachers. 

In addition to primary, elementary, and high schools, 
most cities support kindergartens and many maintain high 
schools devoted to technical education. A few American 
cities maintain colleges in which tuition is free to residents 
of the city. Large cities usually have evening schools for 
the benefit of those who must work during the day. In a 
number of our cities, the department of education offers 
extensive courses of lectures, free to the pubKc, on literary, 
liistorical, and scientific subjects. Closely akin to the work 
of the department of education is that done by public 
libraries, museums, and art galleries. 

Public Health. — A dense population offers special op- 
portunities for the spread of disease. The city must have 
a health department, whose duties are very extensive. 
The health department must see that all houses and yards 
are kept in a sanitary condition. To the department, 
physicians are required to report all cases of contagious 


and infectious diseases and the department, by isolation 
or in other ways, must provide against epidemics. The 
health department must enforce vaccination in time of 
danger from smallpox and must maintain, when necessary, 
a quarantine against the introduction of disease from out- 
side of the city. 

Public health depends upon the purity of the food sup- 
ply, and hence the city must inspect milk and other perish- 
able food which enters the city. The public health de- 
pends also upon the efficiency of other departments. A 
pure and abundant water supply, a sanitary sewerage 
system, tenement house inspection in order to enforce laws 
requiring adequate air and light shafts, public parks, 
pubHc baths, and hospitals have a direct influence on the 
pubhc health. 

Parks and Recreation. — Every modern city possesses, 
or should possess, an extensive park system. Parks are 
not only of value in beautifying the city, an important 
consideration in itself, but, if near the centers of popula- 
tion, have an important effect in purifying the air. Within 
the parks are often zoological gardens and other means of 
instruction and entertainment. 

New York City maintains a considerable number of 
pubhc playgrounds, usually in densely populated districts, 
where under competent direction, the children of the poor 
may indulge in wholesome games, free from the contamina- 
tion of the streets. New York City also has a number of 
recreation piers along the river front. 

American cities are just beginning to see the value of 
pubhc baths. New York maintains floating baths in the 
rivers and bay during the summer, and permanent baths, 


equal to any in the world, during the entire year in many 
parts of the city. Many other American cities have fol- 
lowed the example of New York/ 

Department of Charities and Correction. — Immense 
sums are expended annually by every large city for the 
care of the dependent and delinquent classes. In the 
smaller cities much of this duty devolves upon the county, 
but the larger cities maintain hospitals, asylums, alms- 
houses, and prisons. 

Other Lines of City Activity. — In addition to the de- 
partments above mentioned and others of a similar nature 
which are necessary city functions, many cities engage in 
industrial activity such as operation of gas works and elec- 
tric light plants. The consideration of this variety of city 
activity is reserved for a subsequent chapter. 

Foreign cities have a wider range of activity than American cities. 
In Europe it is quite coi"!:imon for cities to own model tenement 
houses, conduct a pawn-broking business, own cemeteries, etc. See 
Shaw. "Municipal Government in Continental Europe." 


The Charter. — The Dutch government granted the city of New 
Amsterdam a charter in 1653. When the city was under EngUsh 
control twelve years later, Governor NicoUs granted a charter to 
"His Majesty's town of New York" in which the schout, burgo-- 
masters, and schepens of the Dutch were replaced by mayor, alder- 
men, and sheriff. Three other charters were granted during colo- 
nial times. The first complete charter from the state was granted 
in 1813. Revisions of this charter were made in 1830 and in 1873. 
The Consolidation Act of 1882 embodied a complete revision of the 
charter, and this remained in force until 1898, when the first charter 

^ See Bulletin of Bureau of Labor, September, 1904. 


of the greater city of New York went into cfTect. The new city 
included the territory of the old city of New York, the County of 
Kings, the County of Richmond, and portions of what was the 
County of Queens. The charter was carefully prepared by a com- 
mittee of experts, and embraced provisions suggested by the best 
charters of European as well as American cities. A new charter, 
designed to correct mistakes in the original charter of the greater 
city, went into clTect January i, 1902. 

The Boroughs. — The city of New York is dividtcl into five 
boroughs : Manhattan, comprising Manhattan Island and some 
small adjacent islands; The Bronx, including that part of the old 
city of New York in Westchester County and some adjacent islands; 
Brooklyn, comprising all the County of Kings; Queens, comprising 
all of the present county of Queens; and Richmond, comprising 
Richmond County (Staten Island). 

The Mayor. — The mayor is elected by the voters of the entire 
city for a period of four years. He has very extensive powers of 
appointment, and responsibility for most executive and administra- 
tive departments is, therefore, upon him. In other respects his 
powers are similar to -those usually exercised by a mayor. 

Administrative Departments. — Over every administrative de- 
partment there is a single officer. All heads of administrative 
departments, except the comptroller, or head of the department of 
finance, and the superintendent of schools, are appointed by the 
mayor. The comptroller is elected by the voters of the entire 
city, and the superintendent of schools is chosen by the Board of 
Education, the memVjers of which are appointed by the mayor. 
The administrative departments are assigned duties similar to those 
given to executive departments in other cities, except that the water 
works of the boroughs are chiefly under borough officers. 

Borough President. — Each borough has a borough president 
elected by the voters of the borough for a term of four years. The 
borough president has general charge of public streets, bridges, 
tunnels, and most of the public buildings in his borough. He also 
has charge of local improvements, which are voted by the local 



Boards of Local Improvements. — The city is divided into twenty- 
five districts for local improvements. Local improvement boards 
have authority to open streets, construct bridges, and establish 
parks in cases where the adjacent property bears part of the ex- 
pense, except where the charge on the city as a whole is over 
$500,000, in which case it must be approved by the Board of 
Aldermen. All plans for local improvements must, however, be 
approved by the borough president, and in case the improvement 
calls for an expenditure of over $2,000, it must be approved by 
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The local improve- 
ment boards are composed of the members of the Board of Alder- 
men within the district, and the borough president presides over 
meetings of the Board. 

Board of Estimate and Apportionment. — The Board of Estimate 
and Apportionment is composed of the mayor, president of the 
Board of Aldermen, the comptroller, and the five borough presi- 
dents. In the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the mayor, 
comptroller, and president of the Board of Aldermen have three 
votes each, the presidents of the boroughs of Manhattan and 
Brooklyn have two votes each, and the presidents of the other 
boroughs have one vote each. One of its chief duties is to pre- 
pare the annual budget,'or estimate of expenses for the succeeding 
year. The budget then goes to the Board of Aldermen, and when 
passed by that body, becomes the legal amount to be raised dur- 
ing the year for local purposes. Franchises to corporations desir- 
ing to operate street railroads, or to supply other public services, 
are granted by this Board. 

The Board of Aldermen. — The Board of Aldermen is the legis- 
lative branch of the city government. The Board consists of 
seventy-three members elected from that number of aldermanic 
districts for a two years' term, of the president of the Board, elected 
by the voters of the entire city, and of the five borough presidents. 
Each head of an administrative department has a seat in the Board, 
and must attend its meetings when requested by the Board. He 
has no vote, but may take part in debates; he is also required to 
answer questions relating to his department, provided forty-eight 


hours' notice is given that a certain question will be asked. The 
Board has authority to pass ordinances upon subjects enumerated 
in the charter. It cannot authorize the expenditure of money for 
any celebration, procession, funeral, reception, or entertainment, 
except by a vote of four-fifths of its membership. A bill vetoed by 
the mayor may be repassed by a two-thirds vote except in case of 
an ordinance or resolution involving the expenditure of money, 
or the levying of an assessment, in which case a three-fourths vote 
is required. The Board of Aldermen is empowered to fix salaries 
of all city employees other than day laborers, teachers, examiners, 
and members of the supervising staff of the Board of Education. 
This action can, however, only be taken upon recommendation of 
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The Board cannot 
increase any salary, but may reduce salaries; in the latter case, 
however, the mayor may interpose his veto. The Board meets at 
the City Hall in Manhattan, and must hold a session at least once 
a month, except during August and September. 


1. Describe the growth and character of the English borough. 

2. What influence had English boroughs upon American cities? 

3. What is a city? Define a city charter. 

4. What has caused the growth of American cities? 

5. Why does a city require governnient different from that of a 
rural district? 

6. Describe the duties of a mayor. 

7. What is meant by a "responsible mayor"? 

8. What powers are possessed by the city legislature ? 

9. Describe the work of the principal city departments. 

10. How do village governments differ from city governments? 


1. Describe the government of your own city, or the city nearest 

2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a city council of 
one chamber as compared with a council of two chambers. 


3. What services have European cities rendered to the cause of 
liberty? (Consult a history of England, and, for continental cities, 
a mediaeval history.) 

4. Do you think that in fifty years the majority of the popula- 
tion of the United States will reside in cities? Give reasons for 
your opinion. 

5. What has led to the establishment and growth of Boston, 
Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, New Orleans, and 
San Francisco? 


Hart, " Actual Government," 181-196. 

Bryce, " American Commonwealth,." Vol. I, Chapters L-LII, 
Vol. II, Chapters LXXXVIII, LXXXIX. 

Conkling, '' City Government." 

Goodnow, '' City Government." 

Eaton, " Government of Municipalities." 

Ely, " The Coming City." 

Publications of National Municipal League. 

Goodnow, " Municipal Home Rule." 

Almanacs published by great city newspapers, such as New York 
World Almanac, Tribune Almanac, and Brooklyn Eagle Almanac, 
contain much valuable matter on city government. The Brook- 
lyn Eagle publishes the New York City Charter in its Eagle Library. 



Misgovernment in American Cities. — Foreign and Amer- 
ican critics liave been free to say that our cities have ex- 
hibited the one failure in American government. This is 
doubtless true to a large extent of our great cities, but there 
are scores of small cities in America as well governed as 
any in the world. 

The comparative good government of small cities is due 
to several causes, (i) There is an absence of large finan- 
cial operations by the city. Contracts for public improve- 
ments requiring large expenditure are few, and large pri- 
vate corporations are not constantly seeking franchises. 
(2) Knowledge is possessed on the part of the electors of 
the fitness of candidates for offices. (3) Greater interest 
is manifested in political affairs. (4) Higher intelligence 
is present among the voters. 

Corrupt practices by officials in American cities have 
been wofully apparent. Public francliises worth millions 
have been given away, and large sums of money have been 
expended for public improvements which have been of 
little value. 

When the people elect corruptible officials, who will 
sell franchises and award contracts for a consideration, 
they need not be suri)rised to find the city the possessor 
of miserable pavements, a poor water supply, and ineffi- 
cient police. In every American city there are enough 
honest and intelligent voters to elect efficient and incor- 
ruptible officials, // they would insist upon the nomination 



of such men and would support no others at the polls. The 
real danger is not so much from scoundrels who are active 
in politics, as from otherwise good citizens who fail in 
doing their political duty. 

A heavier load of responsibility rests upon the business 
men and capitalists who stoop to bribery in order to obtain 
favors from city councils. Such persons are guilty of 
treason/ in fact, if not in law, and treason to the very 
principles of republican government. 

The Spoils System. — Im^mense sums of money are 
received and expended every year by our great cities. 
The expenditure of many cities far exceeds the total ex- 
penses of any state in the American Union. Large sums 
of money must be paid for the services of men who are 
employed by the city in purely routine work. In the 
absence of any civil service laws, elections degenerate into 
mere scrambles for the possession of the offices. Few 
cities have as yet placed their minor employees under the 
protection of civil service laws. A good civil service law 
must include: (i) a competitive examination to test the 
ability of the applicant to fill the position; (2) provisional 
appointments, to be made permanent if satisfactory ser- 
vice is rendered; (3) promotions made on basis of merit 
to be determined by an examination, though seniority and 
past services should be taken into consideration; (4) no 
contributions for political purposes to be solicited from 
city employees. 

Civil service rules mean better service to the city and 
security of tenure during good behavior to the employee. 
The hackneyed objections that the examinations do not 

^ See Steffin's "Shame of the Cities." 


test the ability of the candidate to perform the duties of 
the office, are easily disproved by an examination of the 
questions given. Power of removal for cause must not 
be taken from superiors, but this docs not vitiate the 
system, as appointments are made from an eligible list. 

City Politics vs. State and National Politics. — It is now 
fairly well recognized that city politics have no relation 
to state and national pohtics. The opinions which a 
candidate may hold on national affairs in no way alTect 
his quaUfications for local office. The separation between 
municipal and national issues is now recognized in many 
city charters, which place days for the electing of municipal 
officers so that they will not coincide with state or national 

Municipal Home Rule. — A large part of the time of many 
state legislatures is taken in the consideration of bills 
relating to special cities and of purely local interest. The 
majority of the members of a state legislature seldom 
possess sufficient knowledge of city conditions and needs 
to enable them to pass intelligently on local city problems. 
One of the most obnoxious cases of state interference in 
city affairs was the notorious ''ripper bill" passed by the 
Pennsylvania legislature in 1901. By the terms of this 
act the elective mayors of several Pennsylvania cities 
(including Pittsburgh) were removed from office, and the 
governor was empowered to appoint temporary "recorders" 
to fill the vacant offices. The city of Cleveland in 1888 
was compelled by the Ohio legislature to tax itself for the 
construction of a soldiers' monument which it did not 
want. Some state legislatures have seen fit to regulate by 


law the salaries of city employees who are doing strictly 
city work. The police commissioners of Boston are 
appointed by the governor of the state and are responsible 
to him, though the city must pay the salaries. Extraordi- 
nary conditions, such as the deplorable condition of the 
police department of the city of New York in 1894, are 
legitimate occasions for state interference, but as a rule 
local affairs should be left to the city councils. 

The state, however, has the right to pass general city 
laws applicable to all cities of a certain population. In 
New York state, under the terms of the present constitu- 
tion, special city laws must be submitted to the mayor of 
the citv concerned, if the citv be one of the first class, and 
to the mayor and city legislature of all other cities. A pub- 
lic hearing may be announced by the mayor of the city 
concerned, at which friends and opponents of the bill may 
present arguments. If approved by the mayor the bill goes 
to the sjovernor for his consideration. 

The city, however, has not only functions of its own to 
perform, it is also the agent of the state in many cases. 
The state must enforce certain rules in regard to education, 
sanitary matters, and other affairs of interest to the entire 
state. These functions arc both state and municipal, and 
the state has the right and duty to see that the city author- 
ities enforce its regulations. The state should not, how- 
ever, do more than enforce the general policy of the state 
at large. For example: the state may desire to enforce 
only elementary education throughout the state; if the 
city desires to support high schools, that is then a purely 
local matter. Should the state legislature desire to carry 
out a certain policy throughout the state, the details of that 
policy should be administered by a state board. 


The City and Natural Monopolies. — Certain industries 
have an innate tendency toward monopoly. To this class 
belong water works, gas and electric plants, and street 
railroads. Corporations desiring to furnish these utilities 
must make more or less use of the city streets and must 
obtain permission from the city for this privilege, which is 
called a franchise. Any permanent competition in these 
industries is out of the question; efforts at competition 
lead to a cutting of prices which is foUow-ed by consolida- 
tion. For example: if two gas companies exist in a single 
city, they will for a time compete, and gas will be supplied 
at a low price. Neither company can make money, and 
in a short time one will sell out to the other, or they will 
consolidate under a new name. The public in the end 
pays for the loss, either in higher prices or in lowering of 
quality, and it has also suffered by an unnecessary tearing 
up of the streets. 

Whether these municipal monopolies should be public 
or private property is one of the most debated questions of 
the day. 

In regard to the water w^orks, the question has already 
been settled in favor of city ownership. A pure and 
abundant water supply is a necessity. A city which fails 
to secure such a supply, though it has all else that is need- 
ful, can hardly be regarded as a desirable place of residence. 

A revenue from the water works is the last thing to be 
considered; the lives of the citizens arc imperiled if money- 
making is made a chief consideration. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were 
seventeen cities provided with a system of water works, 
but in only one of these did the municipality own the plant. 
The beginning of the twentieth century sees a majority 


of American cities, including almost all of the large ones, 
owning and operating the water works. 

In regard to other municipal natural monopolies, the 
question between public and private ownership is still an 
open one. 

Arguments in Favor of Municipal Ownership. — Advo- 
cates of municipal ownership advance in defense of their 
position such arguments as the following: 

1. Private ownership has led to immense losses through 
allowing rival companies to duplicate plants, which is usu- 
ally followed by consolidation and high prices. Monopoly 
prices of private companies are so high as to amount to a 
public burden. 

2. The city may charge a smaller price and still make 
a revenue, as the city would be free from all danger of 

3. Politics would be much purer under municipal owner- 
ship. Most of the corruption of the city officials comes 
through private companies seeking franchises or other 
privileges. To increase the power of the municipal gov- 
ernment would stimulate interest in municipal affairs and 
cause a better class of officials to be elected. 

4. The success of municipal undertakings of this kind 
is cited as a reason for the extension of the policy of muni- 
cipal ownership. In England and Continental Europe 
experience with public ownership has been extensive and 
satisfactory.^ In the United States public ownership has 
seldom been practiced. In no large city is the gas plant 
owned and operated by the city. Philadelphia has owned 

^ See Shaw, "Municipal Government in Great Britain," " Muni- 
cipal Government in Continental Europe." 



her gas works since 1841, but now leases the plant to a 
private corporation. 

Richmond (Va.), Wheeling (W. Va.), Duluth (Minn.), 
and Hamilton (Ohio) are the principal cities which own 
and operate their gas works. Municipal ownership and 
operation of electric lighting plants is more common. 

Among the cities owning works for the suyjply of electric 
light arc Chicago, Detroit, Allegheny, St. Joseph, Little 
Rock, Jacksonville, and Tacoma. In most cases the city 
ownership of gas and electric lighting works has given 
satisfaction to the citizens both in quality and price. Suc- 
cess or failure seems to have depended upon the honesty 
of the local government. There has been practically no 
experience in the United States with municipal ownership 
of street railroads. For a number of years the railroad across 
the Brooklyn Bridge was jointly owned and operated by 
the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and the service gave 
excellent satisfaction. At present this railroad is owned 
by the city of New York, but is operated by a private 

Arguments against Municipal Ownership. 

1. It is often objected that municipal ownersliip is social- 
istic. This statement is not an argument; the same state- 
ment with the same amount of truth may be made in regard 
to public schools, public libraries, parks, and bridges. 

2. City government, it is said, cannot manage industrial 
establishments as efficiently as private corporations, and 
I^oor and expensive service would result. Cities content 
to live under inefficient local government would doubt- 
less find city ownership worse than private ownership 
generally is. 


3. The strongest argument against municipal owner- 
ship is made by those who acknowledge the evils of private 
ownership, but claim that public ownership will not remedy 
the difficulties and that public regulation alone is needed. 
If natural monopolies are to be private property, they should 
be subject to public control. Such rules as the following 
are advocated: 

a. Franchises should not be given away, but granted 
for a limited period, not exceeding twenty- five years, and 
the city should receive a fair price for the privileges con- 
ferred. This price should include a lump sum and a per- 
centage of the gross receipts. 

h. The possessor of a franchise should be guaranteed 
against any attempt at competition by having the exclusive 
right to furnish the service within the city, or a part of the 

c. Quality and maximum prices should be regulated 
by law. 

d. When the term of the franchise expires, it should 
revert to the city, which should reserve the right to acquire 
the plant. 

e. Financial accounts of the corporation receiving the 
franchise should be matters of public record. 


1. Account for the existence of corruption in municipal politics. 

2. Why are our small cities, as a rule, better governed than 
our large cities? 

3. What is meant by civil service reform? What features must 
a good civil service law include? 

4. Why should national and city politics be separated? 

5. To what extent should a city be granted "home rule"? 

6. Discuss city ownership of the gas works, the electric light 
works, and street railroads. 




1. Is your city, or the city nearest you, well governed? Giv^e 
reasons for your opinion. 

2. Investij^atc the Tweed regime in New York, and the gas 
ring in Philadelphia. 

Consult Andrews' " The United States in our Own Time," on 
the former, and Brycc's " American Commonwealth," on the latter. 

3. Why are European cities better governed than American 

4. How can you assist the movement for better city government? 


Hart, " Actual Government," 201-214. 
Wilder, " Municipal Problem." 
Wilcox, " The American City." 
Low, " Problems of Municipal Government." 
Fairlie, " Municipal Administration." 

"The Municipal Program." (Published by The Macmillan 
Company for the National Municipal League.) 
On Municipal Monopolies : 

Bemis, " Municipal Monopolies." 

Ely, " Problems of To-day," 107-146. 

Ely, " Monopolies and Trusts." 

Maltbie, "Municipal Functions" (Vol. II, No. 4, Municipal 
A flairs). 
On European Experience : 

Shaw, " Municipal Government in Great Britain." 

Shaw, " Municipal Government in Continental Europe." 

Howe, " The City, the Hope of Democracy. " 


Colonial Government. — When the War of the Revolu- 
tion began there were among the English colonies three 
distinct types of colonial government. These may be 
designated by the manner in which the governor was chosen, 
as royal, proprietary, and democratic. A governor ap- 
pointed by the crown was the chief executive officer in 
royal colonies, of which there were eight at the time of the 
War of the Revolution. Proprietary colonies were the 
results of large grants of land which the kings of England 
had for various reasons given to certain individuals. With 
these grants was often conferred authority to organize 
civil governments. The proprietor in such cases had the 
power of appointing and dismissing the governor, and 
might veto any of the governor's acts as well as those of 
the legislature, which the governor was authorized to call. 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, the 
Carohnas, and Maryland were originally proprietary 
colonies; Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland were still 
proprietary colonies at the time of the war. Republican 
colonies^ possessed charters granted by the Idng, in which 
a large measure of self-government was conceded. In 
such colonies one of the chief privileges was the selection 

^ These colonies are usually called charter colonies, which is 
inexact, as proprietary colonies also possessed charters. Massachu- 
setts, originally republican, had a charter which placed her in a 
better position than other royal colonies. 

See Fiske's ''Civil Government," p. i6o. 



of the governor. Connecticut and Rhode Island were the 
only republican colonies at the time of the war. 

Colonial Legislatures. — In all of the colonies there were 
legislatures, which ordinarily exercised control over the 
internal affairs of the colony. This control was exercised 
either according to the terms of the charter or without any 
formal authority from England. The legislative assem- 
blies consisted of two chambers, except in Pennsylvania 
where there was but one chamber. The lower chamber 
was elected by the people, or rather by the minority of the 
people upon whom the privilege of voting had been con- 
ferred. The governor's council, originally an advisory 
body, had come to possess legislative power and acted 
as an upper chamber in every state except Pennsylvania. 
Members of the governor's council were elected by the 
people, appointed by the king or proprietor, or chosen by 
the retiring legislature. 

Origin of State Governments. — The war severed con- 
nection with England and made it necessary to make some 
changes in the form of government. As early as May 
15, 1776, Congress by resolution suggested to the former 
colonies that they should organize as state governments, 
which most of them speedily did either by act of legislature 
or by a convention called for that purpose. Most of the 
states found it desirable to adopt new constitutions, but 
Connecticut and Rhode Island, which had been practically 
independent republics, were content to govern themselves 
under the terms of their colonial charters until well into 
the nineteenth century.* 

' Connecticut adopted a new constitution in 1818, Rhode Island 
in 1842. 


Early State Constitutions. — The new state constitutions 
were based upon the colonial charters. The governor was 
retained as chief executive, now elected by the voters or 
by the state legislature. The upper house of the legislature 
became known as the senate and was composed of members 
either elected by the people or by the lower house. Each 
state claimed to be sovereign. The Articles of Confedera- 
tion ( 1 781-1788) left the states sovereign, but by the adop- 
tion of the present Constitution of the United States they 
surrendered many of the essentials of sovereignty. 

Present State Constitutions. — All the states, except 
Massachusetts, have adopted their present state consti- 
tutions since the Constitution of the United States went 
into effect. The new constitutions were modeled to a 
large extent upon the Federal Constitution, and changes in 
that document have generally been followed by changes 
in the state constitutions. 

There are three main divisions in the state constitutions: 

1. A Bill of Rights, which consists of a statement of 
fundamental rights and privileges of inhabitants of the 

2. An outline of the frame of government, in which pro- 
vision is made for executive, legislative, and judicial depart- 

3. Miscellaneous provisions in regard to the militia, 
corporations, public lands, taxation, education, and methods 
of amending the constitution. Many provisions are 
inserted in state constitutions which belong properly to the 
ordinary domain of legislation, but which have been put 
in the constitution in order to make it difficult, if not impos- 
sible, to change them. 


Written Constitutions. — The first written constitution in 
America, if not in the world, was created in an assembly 
of the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield, which 
was held in Hartford on January 14, 1639. This was a 
real constitution, as it clearly described the nature of the 
proposed government. The famous document was called 
the '' Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. " When Charles 
II granted a charter to Connecticut he merely gave recogni- 
tion to the Fundamental Orders. 

In the colonial charters we find the beginnings of written 
constitutions in America. Under them the people became 
accustomed to government restricted by a written instru- 
ment. Oftentimes questions arose in which the issue was 
whether the colonial legislature had not exceeded its author- 
ity. Such questions were settled before the courts of law, 
and a decision against the act of the legislature made the 
act null and void. The provisions of our state and national 
constitutions, following the suggestion of the colonial 
charters, give the courts authority to pass upon the con- 
stitutionality of legislative acts. In countries with un- 
written constitutions no such restraint is exercised over 
legislative bodies. 

The great advantage of written over unwritten constitu- 
tions is in the prevention of radical and hasty legislation, 
which is really a protection of the minority against the 
majority. But this does not make the courts superior to 
the people; no believer in popular government could 
desire such a thing. It is a check ''in the way of the 
people's whim, but not their will." ^ No measure sincerely 

* James Russell Lowell, "Democracy and Other Addresses," 
p. 24. See also Tiedeman's "Unwritten Constitution," p. 164. 


desired by a majority of the people can long be resisted. 
The legislative and executive bodies may change the com- 
plexion of the court by creating additional judges, or the 
constitution may be amended, and thus the people's will 
may become effective. 

Amendment of State Constitutions. — Two methods of 
amending state constitutions exist. One method is to have 
the proposed amendment introduced in the state legisla- 
ture, where it is obliged to receive a three-fifths or two- 
thirds majority. Some states make its passage through 
the legislature even more difficult by requiring that it shall 
pass in two successive legislatures. After passing the legis- 
lature, the amendment must be submitted to the people for 
ratification or rejection. 

The other method of amendment is by a convention. 
Usually state constitutions provide that a constitutional 
convention shall be called when two-thirds of the legisla- 
ture demand it, though in some states the legislature is 
required at stated intervals to submit to the people the 
question of holding a convention. Members of the con- 
vention are chosen by the voters at a special election. The 
work of a constitutional convention is usually submitted 
to the people for ratification or rejection. Recently, con- 
stitutional conventions in some of the southern states 
have declared new constitutions in force without sub- 
mitting them to the people, because they knew that the 
quahfied voters under the old constitution would reject 
the new instrument. 

The Sphere of State Governments. — State governments 
occupy a very important place in the American system of 
government. The United States government possesses the 


highest of governmental functions, but the state govern- 
ments possess the most, and these include activities which 
affect the every-day life of the citizen. ''An American 
may, through a long life, never be reminded of the Federal 
Government, except when he votes at presidential and 
congressional elections, buys a package of tobacco bearing 
the governmental stamp, lodges a complaint against the 
post office, and opens his trunk for a custom-house officer 
on a pier at New York when he returns from a tour to 
Europe. His direct taxes are paid to officials acting under 
state laws. The state or a local authority constituted by 
state statutes, registers his birth, appoints his guardian, 
pays for his schooling, gives him a share in the estate of 
his father deceased, licenses him when he enters a trade, 
marries him, divorces him, entertains civil actions against 
him, declares him a bankrupt,^ and hangs him for murder. 
The poHce that guards his house, the local boards that 
look after the poor, control highways, impose water rates, 
manage schools — all these derive their legal powers from 
the state alone." ^ 

In the division of powers between state and nation, 
certain matters of national interest were given to the 
nation; all other powers reside in the states. "He who 
asserts the power of a state legislature to pass an act or 
establish an institution has not to prove it; but he who 
denies the power must cite some clause of the Constitution 
forbidding it." ' 

^ Written prior to the passage of the United States bankruptcy 

^ Bryce, "American Commonwealth," pp. 425, 426. 

' Woodburn, "American Republic," p. 344. 


The Bill of Rights. —The bills of rights in the constitutions 
of the original states were adopted when the fear of govern- 
mental oppression was strong. Later constitutions have 
included bills of rights with such changes as circumstances 
might dictate. The principles of the bills of rights are not 
new; they are the common heritage from Magna Charta, 
the Habeas Corpus Act, and the Bill of Rights. 

Among the expressed or impHed provisions of a state 
bill of rights the following are commonly found : 

1. Freedom of the press and speech shall not be denied. 
The abuse of this freedom, such as incendiary speech and 
abusive and indecent language, is punishable. 

2. Religious liberty is guaranteed. Persons are not to 
be molested for worshiping according to the dictates of 
their own consciences. However, they may not commit a 
crime under the plea of religion; religious freedom does 
not legalize polygamy or any other crime. Religious opin- 
ion shall not debar from any political ofhces, though some 
of the older states make belief in God requisite for hold- 
ing some state offices. There shall be no union of state 
and church. 

3. Private property shall not be appropriated for public 
use without just compensation. 

4. No bill of attainder or ex post facto (after the act) 
law shall be passed. A bill of attainder is a legislative act 
whereby a person may be condemned without trial. An 
ex post facto law is one w^hich makes an offense committed 
before the passage of the act punishable in accordance with 
the provisions of the act. 

5. The writ of habeas corpus (you may have the body) 
shall not be denied unless in case of rebellion or invasion. 
This writ may be secured in behalf of the prisoner. It is 


directed to the person responsible for the detention of the 
prisoner, and commands him to produce the prisoner at a 
stated i)lace and lime for examination. This important 
writ prevents imprisonment without trial. 

6. Trial by jury is guaranteed to persons accused of 
crime, and may be demanded in certain civil cases. 

7. Certain rights are secured to persons accused of 
crime. No person accused of crime may be compelled 
to testify against himself; excessive bail shall not be required; 
no cruel or unusual punishment shall be inflicted. 


1. Describe three kinds of colonial government, and state under 
what variety each of the thirteen colonies was at the time of the 
Revolutionary War. 

2. Give an account of the origin and power of the colonial legis- 

3. What changes were made in government when the colonies 
became states? 

4. Compare the advantages of written and unwritten constitu- 

5. Describe two ways in which a state constitution may be 

6. Show the importance of the functions assigned to state gov- 

7. What are the usual contents of a state bill of rights? 

8. Define bill of attainder, ex post facto law, and writ of habeas 


1. When was the ])rcscnt constitution of your state adopted? 
When was it last amended ? 

2. The Constitution of the United States empowers the Supreme 
Court to pass upon the constitutionality of a law; this is generally 


regarded as an original provision of our National Constitution. 
Do you find anything similar to this in colonial experience ? 

3. Of what value is a bill of rights? 

4. Consult a good history of England on Habeas Corpus Act, 
Magna Charta, and Bill of Rights. Of what importance are these 
English acts to us? 

5. Why may it be necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus 
during war? 



The Executive Department. — The governor is the chief 
executive of the state. His position is one of great respon- 
sibihty and dignity, notwithstanding the fact that a major- 
ity of the minor state executive officers are elected by the 
people and are therefore responsible to the people rather 
than to the governor. Though primarily an executive 
officer, the governor exercises judicial functions when he 
pardons a criminal, and legislative functions when he 
vetoes a bill. The duties of a governor may be classified 
as follows: 

1. At the beginning of each season of the legislature, 
and at any other time when he deems it necessary, the 
governor sends a message to the legislature. This message 
describes the condition of the state and recommends any 
legislation which the governor thinks desirable. 

2. He may call special sessions of the legislature. 

3. In all but three* states he may veto a bill. 

4. He has the power to appoint a number of minor 
state officials; often this must be done subject to the ap- 
proval of the senate. 

5. The governor is commander-in-chief of the state 
militia. In case the local authorities are unable to enforce 
law and order, they may appeal to the governor for troops. 
Such an appeal is generally made by the sheriff of the 
county in which the disorder occurs. 

^ Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Ohio. 














6. In most states the governor has power to pardon 
crimina-S and commute sentences. On account of the 
burden that this power places upon the governor, and to 
insure more careful examination into the facts, in many 
states the pardoning power has been placed in the hands of 
a board of pardons of which the governor is often a member. 

The Gubernatorial Term. — Twenty-one states have a 
gubernatorial term of two years; in twenty states the gov- 
ernor is elected for a term of four years; two states elect 
governors for three years, and two states for one year. 

Qualifications of a Governor. — State constitutions differ 
widely in the qualifications they prescribe for governors. 
Maine requires that the governor shall be a native born 
citizen; New Jersey and Mississippi require their governors 
to have been citizens of the United States for not less than 
twenty years; Minnesota requires her governor to have 
resided in the state for at least one year. The usual re- 
quirements are that the governor shall have been a resident 
of the state for at least five years, a citizen of the United 
States for an equal period, and that he shall be not less 
than thirty years of age. 

Salaries of Governors. — Salaries of governors vary 
from $10,000 a year, the amount paid by New York, New 
Jersey, and Pennsylvania, to $1,500 a year paid by Ver- 
mont and Oregon. 


Other Executive Officers. — A lieutenant-governor, whose 
qualifications and terms of office are the same as those of 
the governor,^ is elected in most of the states. The lieuten- 


ant-governor acts as governor in the event of the governor's 
chair becoming vacant during his term of office; ordinarily 
his duties are confined to presiding in the senate. 

A secretary of state keeps the official records of the 
executive and legislative department and has charge of 
election returns. An attorney-general represents the state 
in cases which it may have before the courts, and acts as 
legal adviser to the state officers in their official capacity. 
Other state officials whose names indicate their duties are 
treasurer, auditor, surveyor-general, and superintendent of 
public works. 

State Administrative Boards. — In every state of the 
American Union important duties are assigned to single 
commissioners or a board of commissioners. Boards of 
inspection and supervision exercise great authority over 
state property, local governmental institutions, and many 
important lines of business which have a quasi-public 
nature such as the railroad and insurance business. 
Recently state activity of this nature has been much in- 
creased, but it has tended rather to harmonize govern- 
ment throughout the state than seriously to interfere with 
local government. 

The State and Education. — The educational system of 
each state is determined by the state school law. The 
school law states what subjects must be taught, the mini- 
mum number of months which shall constitute the school 
year, the method of selecting teachers, and whether the 
district, township, or county shall ])e the unit for school 
administration. In many states the school law provides 
that text books shall be furnished at public expense. Fin- 


ancial assistance is commonly given by the state to local 
schools, subject often to certain conditions. In Pennsyl- 
vania, for example, no district which pays teachers less 
than $35.00 a month shall receive state aid. 

At the head of the state educational system is usually a 
superintendent, with whom is often associated a board o^^' 
education; in some states there is a board of education 
(or regents) but no superintendent. 

These officials in some states are elected by the people 
or by the legislature, in others they are appointed by the 
governor. General supervision over the state schools, 
except city schools with their own superintendents, is 
exercised by the superintendent, or board of education. 

The state does not confine its attention to supervision of 
local schools, but directly maintains normal schools for 
the training of persons who desire to devote themselves to 
the profession of teaching. Most of the states, especially 
in the South and West, maintain state universities which 
are in every respect equal to the best in the country. Tui- 
tion is generally free to students who are residents of the 
state, though a small '' incidental" or ''registration" fee 
is charged. Schools for the scientific study of agriculture, 
on a separate foundation or connected with the state uni- 
versity, exist in most states. 

Railroad Commissions. — Commerce within a state is 
entirely under the jurisdiction of the state authorities. 
A board of railroad commissioners exists in most states, 
whose duties are to protect indi\iduals and corporations 
against unjust discriminations and to see that the state 
laws are obeyed by the railroad corporations. While rail- 
road abuses have not disappeared, conditions have cer- 


tainly improved since the establishment of these commis- 

Public Charities and Corrections. — Most states assign 
to a single board, or to several boards, supervision over 
charitable and penal institutions within the state. States 
usually maintain institutions for the defective classes, 
v^hich include schools for the deaf and dumb, schools for 
the blind, institutions for the feeble-minded, and asylums 
for the insane. Experience has amply proven that these 
unfortunate classes are better cared for in state than in 
county institutions, unless the county be a very populous 
and wealthy one. The proper care of the defective classes 
demands material resources beyond the ability of most 

State penal institutions consist of state prisons and 
reformatories. Mature persons convicted of serious crimes 
are sent to the state prison, less serious offenders being con- 
fined in city and county institutions. Various industries 
are carried on within the walls of the prison, as work is 
necessary for the physical and mental welfare of prisoners 
as well as for other persons. Industrial occupations in 
the prisons not only enable the prisoners to be in a measure 
self-supporting and give the men needful occupation, but 
often teach them the only honest trade they ever knew. 

Juvenile offenders are sentenced to reformatories. 
.Classes in all the common branches are maintained within 
each reformatory, and each inmate is obliged to learn some 
trade. The *' indeterminate sentence," whereby the judge 
names a maximum and minimum term, is usually employed 
by judges in sentencing juvenile offenders. When within 
the institution the prisoner soon learns that he can escape 


the maximum term only by good conduct, application to 
his studies, and careful attention to his trade. Prisoners 
are seldom unconditionally released after serving a term in 
a reformatory; they are "paroled." A paroled prisoner 
leaves the institution but must make regular reports to the 
authorities for a definite time before his discharge is made 

Other Administrative Boards. — Factory inspectors are 
appointed to see that the state laws in regard to labor 
conditions are enforced. Labor laws require that factories 
shall be sanitary and that machinery shall be so protected 
as to reduce to a minimum the danger of injury to employees. 
The maximum hours at which women and children may 
be employed are fixed by law in most states, as well as the 
age at which children may be employed. 

Permission to practice certain professions is subject to 
approval by a state board. These professions are of such 
a nature that most persons are not competent to judge the 
abihty of the practitioner, and it is therefore to the advan- 
tage of the public that a competent body of men should 
pass upon the merits of candidates for admission to practice 
these professions. In all the states there are boards which 
issue certificates to persons whom they deem competent 
to practice medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy. 

Many other state boards are in existence, the most com- 
mon of which are fish and game commissioners, forestry 
commissioners, mine inspectors, and boards of health. 

State Legislative Department. — Each state has a legis- 
lative body elected by the people. This body is generally 
called the legislature, but in New Hampshire and Massachu- 


setts the colonial designation of "general court" is still 
preserved. In all the states the legislature consists of two 
chambers. The upper chamber is everywhere known as 
the senate; the lower house is usually known as the assem- 
bly, less often as the house of representatives, and in a few 
states as the house of delegates. -There are fewer members 
of the senate than of the lower house, and often it is made 
a more permanent body by providing that half of the mem- 
bership shall retire at a time. Not infrequently higher 
quahfications are prescribed for senators than for members 
of the lower house. 

The presiding officer of the senate is in most states the 
lieutenant-governor; the lower house elects its own presid- 
ing officer, generally known as the speaker. 

For the purpose of electing members of the legislature, 
the state is divided into election districts, senatorial 
districts being larger than representative (or assembly) 

Most states give each county, regardless of population, 
at least one representative in the upper house, and in some 
of the New England states where the town is the unit of 
representation, small towns send almost as many represen- 
tatives to the lower house as do the large towns. As a rule, 
representation is based on. population, and cUstricts, or the 
number of representatives assigned to a district, change as 
population changes. A written or unwritten law generally 
requires that a member must reside witliin the district 
which sends him to the legislature. The usual term for 
members of the senate is four years; members of the lower 
house generally serve two years. 

Legislative sessions are as a rule biennial. In Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, South 


Carolina, and Georgia, annual sessions are held. Mem- 
bers of the legislature are paid either an annual salary or a 
per diem sum. In New York the salary of a member of 
the legislature is $1,500 per annum; in Maine $150 is re- 
garded as a sufficient salary. Rhode Island pays her 
legislators $1.00 a day, during sessions of the legislature. 

Process of Legislation. — The introduction of a bill is 
the first step in legislation. A bill, which must concern 
itself with but one subject, may be introduced by any 
member of either house. The clerk reads the bill, often 
only by title, after which it is commonly referred to an 
appropriate committee.^ 

The committee considers the bill and often changes its 
form. Often committees have public hearings, and in 
some states must hold such hearings if they arc demanded. 
The committee may refuse to report the bill at all, in which 
case the bill is ''killed in committee."^ A bill must pass 
three readings on different days, though in emergencies a 
large majority may suspend this rule, and all readings may 
be passed in one day. Having passed one house, the bill 
receives the signature of the presiding officer and is sent 
to the other house, where it must go through a similar 
course. Not infrequently deadlocks result on account of 
the two houses being unable to agree, in which case the bill 
may be referred to a joint committee of conference which 
usually recommends a compromise. After ha\ing passed 
both houses, the bill goes to the governor for his signature. 

^ Each house has committees on all subjects of legislation. 
^ In Massachusetts legislative committees are required to report 
all bills, either favorably or unfavorably. 



If he does not approve, he may veto ' the bill by returning 
it to the house in which it originated with a statement of 
the reasons for his disapproval. In most states the bill 
must receive a two-thirds vote in order to be ''passed over 
the veto" of a governor. 

A usual provision is that if any bill shall not be returned 
by the governor within ten days (Sundays excepted), the 
same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed 
it, unless the legislature by adjournment prevents its 
return, in which case it shall not be a law without the 
approval of the governor. 

After final adjournment no bill may become a law unless 
approved by the governor within thirty days after such 

Initiative and Referendum. — From the beginning of 
the present government of the United States, it has been 
customary to submit constitutions and constitutional 
amendments to the people for ratification or rejection. 
The failures of legislatures to act in accordance with the 
will of the people has led to a demand for the submission 
to popular vote of statutes on all important subjects. 
This plan is called the referendum. In many states debts 
may not be incurred without approval by the people, city 
charters are often submitted to the people of the city con- 
cerned, and in many states, under local option laws, the 
question of selling liquors is referred to the voters of each 
locality. In Switzerland, the home of the referendum, 
the legislature is obliged to submit any statute, which it 
has recently passed, to popular vote on request of a certain 

* Except in Rhode Island, Ohio, and North Carolina. 


number of citizens. A few American states have followed 
this plan. The constitution of South Dakota provides 
that one-twentieth of the voters may by petition require 
the submission to the people of any recently passed statutes. 
Nebraska gives one-fifteenth of the voters the power to 
demand a referendum, and in California and Iowa a 
referendum may be demanded on local questions. 

Associated with the referendum is the initiative, a plan 
which provides that on the petition of a certain number 
of voters the legislature must submit a bill to popular vote. 
This system is also of Swiss origin and has been introduced 
into the state governments of South Dakota, Utah, and 
Oregon. On local questions the initiative and referendum 
have extensive application in the United States. For 
example : in Florida one-fourth of the voters of any county 
may require the submission to the people of the question 
of prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors; in Georgia 
fifty freeholders of any county may require a vote to deter- 
mine whether live stock shall be allowed to run at large; 
fifty or more electors of any county in California may 
require the supervisors to submit to the people the question 
of establishing a county high school. 

The referendum and initiative are well suited to the 
decision of questions which can be settled by a simple 
affirmative or negative vote, and upon which the people 
possess an intelligent opinion. For local purposes the 
referendum and initiative have distinct advantage and will 
doubtless receive a wider recognition. 

Limitations upon State Legislatures. — The action of 
state legislatures is limited both by the Constitution of the 
United States and the state constitutions. The Constitu- 


tioii of the United States, Article I, Section lo, limits state 
activity as follows: 

" I. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, 
or confederation; grant letters of marque or reprisal; 
coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but 
gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts ; 
pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law 
impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any 
title of nobility. 

** 2. No State shall, without the consent of the Con- 
gress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, 
except what may be absolutely necessary for execut- 
ing its inspection laws; and the net produce of all 
duties and imposts, laid by any State on imports and 
exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the 
United States; and all such laws shall be subject to 
the revision and control of Congress. 

"3. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, 
lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war 
in time of peace, enter into any agreement or con- 
pact with another State, or with a foreign power, or 
engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such 
imminent danger as will not admit of delay." 

The state constitutions limit the action of the legisla- 
tures by preventing interference with certain enumerated 
individual rights; by preventing a state from exceeding a 
certain debt limit; by prohibiting grants to sectarian insti- 
tutions, etc. It is quite common to have provisions in 
regard to taxation, railroads, banking, education, and suf- 
frage placed in the state constitutions and thus control the 


action of state legislatures in these matters. Most state 
constitutions provide against local and special laws. 

State Privileges Guaranteed by the United States. — 

Each state is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United 
States (i) protection in case of invasion by a foreign enemy, v 
(2)^ a repubHcan form of government, (3) that the state 
shall not be divided except with its own consent. 

Relations of the States to Each Other. — The Constitu- 
tion of the United States requires that full faith and credit 
shall be given in each state to the public records and judicial 
proceedings of every other state. This does not mean that 
the law of one state is binding in another state, but that 
judicial decisions shall be accepted as facts in other states. 

A person charged with any crime, who shall escape into 
another state, may on the demand of the executive authority 
of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be 
removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. 
The governor of the state in which the criminal is appre- 
hended is the sole judge as to whether the accused shall be 
returned, and too many cases are on record in which, on 
account of personal dislike, a governor has refused to honor 
a requisition for the return of a person accused of crime. 

''Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges 
and immunities of citizens in the several States." ^ 


1. Describe the duties of the governor of a state. 

2. Name the other executive ofl&cers of the state, and explain 
the duties of each. 

1 Artick IV, Sec. II, U. S. Const. 


3. What are the duties of the chief state commissioners, or 
administrative boards? 

4. What is the "indeterminate sentence"? Show its value. 

5. Describe the state legislative department. 

6. Show the progress of a bill from its introduction to its be- 
coming a law. 

7. Name two ways in which it is possible for a bill to become a 
law without the governor's signature. 

8. What is the initiative ? What is the referendum ? 

9. How do state and federal constitutions limit the powers of 
state legislatures? 

10. What privileges are guaranteed the states by the United 
States ? 


1. Should the governor have power to pardon criminals? 

2. What is the gubernatorial term in your state? Is a four year 
term better than a two year term ? 

3. Find the names and duties of the administrative boards in 
your state. 

4. To what extent are the initiative and referendum in use in 
your state? 

5. What are letters of marque? 


Hart, "Actual Government," 1 13-166, 

Bryce, " American Commonwealth," I, Chaps. XLXL-VI. 

Woodburn, " The American Republic," Chap. VII. 

Wilson, ** The State," 500-524. 

Oberholtzer, " The Referendum in America." 



State Courts. — In all the states there are at least three 
grades of courts. 

1. Local courts. Minor cases are tried in courts pre- 
sided over by a justice of the peace or by a poHce magis- 
trate. Prehminary hearing is often given to more seri- 
ous cases in these courts, and if there is enough evidence 
the defendants are bound over to a higher court. Muni- 
cipal and county courts have jurisdiction over more serious 
cases, and hear appeals from the lower courts. 

2. Superior courts. — These courts have jurisdiction over 
serious cases, and have districts which usually cover large 
areas. The judges are generally not confined to sessions 
in any one place, but travel over their districts. In addi- 
tion to original jurisdiction in certain cases, appeals from 
lower courts come before them. In some states these courts 
are known as circuit courts. 

3. Supreme courts. — Generally these courts have no 
original jurisdiction,^ and therefore try cases only on appeal 
from the decisions of lower courts. "In five states there 
are supremest courts above the ' supreme. ' Thus, in New 
York a court of appeals revises errors made in certain 
cases by the supreme court; in New Jersey there is a 
supreme court above the circuit, which is itself of high 

^ In New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, 
and New Jersey the supreme courts have original as well as ap- 
pellate jurisdiction. 



appellate jurisdiction, and a court of errors and appeals 
above the supreme; in Louisiana the order is reversed, and 
there is a supreme court above a court of appeals; in 
lUinois a supreme court above certain district appellate 
courts; and in Kentucky a court of appeals above a supreme 
court which is called ' superior ' simply. In Texas, there 
are two coordinate supreme courts; one, called the supreme, 
for the hearing of civil cases only, the other, called the court 
of appeals, for the hearing of criminal cases brought up 
from the county courts."^ 

In most matters the decrees of state courts are final, 
but in cases involving matters over which the Con- 
stitution of the United States gives the federal courts 
jurisdiction, there may be an appeal to the United States 

The Selection of Judges. — During the colonial period 
judges were appointed by the governor; their tenure was 
for life or during good behavior. After the Revolution 
judges were elected, as this plan was considered more 
democratic. At present in most of the states, judges are 
elected by the voters for a term of from ten to fifteen years; 
in a few states judges are appointed by the governor for 
life ; and in a still smaller number they are elected by 
the legislature. Judges should be made independent of 
politics, and this can only be accomplished by giving them 
a long term of office. Salaries of judges are far below the 
remuneration received by the leading lawyers, but fortu- 
nately the office is held in such high esteem that it attracts 
the highest talent. 

> Wilson, "The State," p. 510. 


Impeachment of Judges. — State constitutions contain 
provisions whereby the state legislature has the power to 
impeach state judges who fail to live up to the require- 
ments of their high office. If the impeachment succeeds, 
the judge is removed from office. 

Early Form of Trial. — Among our Teutonic ancestors 
when a man was accused of a crime, he might take his 
oath that he was innocent and bring a specified number 
of men to swear that they believed he was telHng the truth. 
This ceremony, known as compurgation, was in some cases 
sufficient to clear the man of the charge. But in many 
cases it became necessary that some form of trial be em- 
ployed, and the ordeal began to be the accepted form. 
The ordeal was an appeal to God to determine guilt or 
innocence. Ordeals were of many kinds. The accused 
might be bandaged and compelled to walk barefoot over 
hot irons, and if uninjured he was declared innocent.* 
His hands might be thrust into boiling water, and if, when 
the bandages placed about them were removed, the hands 
were uninjured, the man was innocent. With the Norman 
Conquest trial by battle was introduced into England, and 
it speedily became the most aristocratic form of trial. The 
theory was simple: two parties to a dispute would engage 
in a formal duel, and God would not allow the innocent to 
be overcome. In civil cases the fight might be undertaken 
by a principal or his champion, but in criminal cases the 
principals must fight in person, unless one be a priest or 
a woman, or a person disabled by reason of age or bodily 

^ For forms of ordeals and compurgation, see ''Translations and 
Reprints," Vol. IV, No. 4, published by University of Pennsylvania. 


Trial by Jury. — Ordeals were condemned by the 
Church and became practically extinct in England in the 
thirteenth century, being supplanted by trial by jury. 
The origin of trial by jury has been much debated, but 
the germs may be found in Anglo-Saxon and Norman 

We have two kinds of juries, both of early origin. The 
jury before whom cases are tried is called a petit jury and 
consists of twelve men, except in justices' courts where six 
is the regular number. With the exception of persons 
engaged in certain occupations,* all male citizens who are 
between the ages of twenty-one and sixty are liable to jury 
duty. Another kind of jury is the grand jury. This 
consists of from twelve to twenty-three men, who are 
required to ''inquire and present" all offenses committed 
against the authority of the state within the district for 
which they are impaneled. 

The grand jury not only considers charges made by the 
district attorney, but may of its own volition initiate investi- 

Criminal and Civil Cases. — A crime is an offense against 
the state no less than against the person wronged. Murder, 
assault, theft, and other crimes are destructive of the 
public peace. The state recognizes this fact and provides 
means for inquiring into crimes and prosecuting the per- 
sons alleged to be guilty. Civil cases primarily affect the 
individuals who are parties to the suit. Failure to per- 

* Physicians, teachers, clergymen, members of the police force, 
members of the national guard, and firemen are among those usu- 
ally exempt from jury service. 


form contracts, disputes over property, and the like, are 
not necessarily of great public concern. 

It is possible for the same offense to be the basis of both 
a criminal and civil action. A reckless operator of an 
automobile may be made defendant in a criminal charge 
for running over a pedestrian; the injured person may also 
collect damages as the result of a civil action. 

The Beginning of a Criminal Trial. — A formal com- 
plaint, made before a justice of the peace or other judicial 
officer, results in a warrant for the arrest of the alleged 
wrongdoer. Unless caught in the act of committing a 
crime, or seen under suspicious circumstances, a warrant 
is a necessary preliminary to arrest. The next step is to 
bring the accused before a magistrate, who, if he has juris- 
diction, may try the case ; otherwise he may hold the 
prisoner to await action by the grand jury, or a higher 
court. Except in serious cases the magistrate, may permit 
the prisoner to be released on bail, which is done by having 
some one furnish security for his appearance when wanted. 

Most states require that a person accused of a serious 
crime shall not be brought to trial until the grand jury 
makes a presentment. The grand jury is a county insti- 
tution and is composed, as we have seen, of from twelve 
to twenty-three men. The methods of choosing grand 
jurors differ slightly among the various states, but are 
quite similar. In New York state, for example, the board 
of county supervisors selects a list of three hundred persons, 
and not more than twenty days nor less than fourteen 
days before the court is to open, the county clerk, in the 
presence of the county judge and the sheriff, is required to 
driw from a box, containing the names of all the persons 


on the list, a sufficient number to constitute the grand 

The district attorney presents evidence before the grand 
jury, whose sessions are secret. Witnesses are heard, but 
the accused person cannot appear. A majority vote of the 
grand jury is sufficient to bring an indictment, which holds 
the accused for trial. 

The grand jury indicts on a probability of guilt. 

The grand jury has the duty of safeguarding the public 
peace, and may bring indictments without regard to a 
previous commitment of a magistrate.* 

A person indicted by the grand jury or bound over to 
court by a justice of the peace or magistrate, is brought 
before the court and is arraigned, that is, a formal charge 
is made against him by reading the indictment. If he 
pleads "guilty," the court sentences him without further 
trial, unless the charge be murder, in which case the trial 
must proceed even though the prisoner acknowledges his 

Trial of a Criminal Case. — In the meantime, the appro- 
priate county officer has impaneled a jury. This is done 
by drawing by lot a list of thirty-six men from those liable 
to jury duty. From this list the county clerk draws by 
lot the names of the men who are to serve as a trial jury. 

Either defendant or prosecutor has the right to object 
to one or more persons as the names are drawn, in which 
case the judge will excuse the challenged person if it seems 
reasonable. Drawing continues until the requisite twelve 

^ In addition to its judicial duties the grand jury investigates 
county institutions and property, and makes report to the court on 
their condition. 


have been secured. Should the original panel be insuffi- 
cient, the court may order an additional panel. 

A jury having been secured, witnesses who have been 
subpoenaed, that is, ordered by the court to be present and 
testify, are examined for the prosecution. After their 
direct testimony they may be cross-examined by the attor- 
ney for the defense. Then comes the testimony for the 
defense, followed by cross-examination by the prosecution 
and the arguments of the attorneys. The judge then 
charges the jury, that is, instructs them in regard to the 
application of the law to the case, after which they retire 
to find a verdict. A unanimous opinion is required to 
convict in all criminal cases, except in Idaho where five- 
sixths may render a verdict in cases involving minor 
crimes. Throughout the trial, the burden of proof rests 
upon the prosecution. The jury must find the prisoner 
guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." The prisoner is not 
required to testify against himself, and an attorney is assigned 
to represent him in case he cannot, or does not, secure one 
for himself. If a verdict of guilty is rendered, the prisoner 
is sentenced to pay a fine or be imprisoned, or both. In 
most states a person convicted of murder may be sentenced 
to be executed. 

A verdict may be set aside by the judge if he considers it 
against the law and the evidence, in which event there 
must be a new trial. During the trial the judge decides 
all points of law that may arise Either -attorney may 
file objections to the court's decisions, and the side losing 
the case may demand a new trial on the basis of these 
exceptions. In case a fair trial cannot be secured in a 
certain district or before a certain court, a change of venue 
mav be seciu'ed which transfers the trial to another court. 


Trial of a Civil Case. — The trial of a civil case differs 
in many respects from a criminal trial, and the procedure 
is not the same in all the states. In criminal cases the state 
may act as prosecutor, but in civil cases the injured party, 
or plaintiff, must begin proceedings. As a rule, the first 
step is for the plaintiff to have a summons and complaint 
served upon the defendant. The complaint is a statement 
of the alleged wrong, and the summons is an order from 
the court calling upon the defendant to appear and answer 
the complaint before a stated time, or judgment will be 
entered against him by default. The defendant may then 
serve an answer upon the plaintiff's attorney, which may 
deny the facts or admit them and claim that they constitute 
no legal wrong. 

Additional repHes and answers may be necessary in order 
to determine the issues, or questions of dispute. The case 
then proceeds as in a criminal case. 

In civil cases juries are often dispensed with, the court 
deciding on matters of fact as well as of law. 

A civil case is concluded by the entering of judgment 
against the defendant, if the plaintiff wins the case. Enter- 
ing judgment, which is the delivering of the decision to the 
county clerk, may be followed by an execution, which is 
an order to the sheriff authorizing him to seize and sell the 
property of the defendant in order to pay the plaintiff the 
amount of the judgment. In many states household 
goods are exempt from seizure. 

Criticism of the Jury System. — The jury system, though 
it has been long regarded as one of the chiefest privileges 
of a free people, has not been without severe criticism. 
Every one knows how difficult it is, at least in the large 


cities, to secure a jury of even fair intelligence. Most 
persons who are best suited for jury service use every 
possible means to escape the burden; on the other hand, 
the ignorant and thriftless rather enjoy jury service. The 
unsatisfactory nature of ordinary juries is acknowledged 
by the fact that in some higher courts a struck jury may be 
secured. This is done by the county clerk, or some similar 
officer, selecting a list of forty-eight men from which 
defendant and plaintiff are each permitted to strike off 
twelve names, and from the remaining twenty-four a trial 
jury is selected. 

It is further objected to the system that juries, even 
though fairly inteUigent, cannot properly decide upon the 
evidence. Efforts are frequently made to introduce 
incompetent evidence, though the attorney knows the court 
will rule it out, but none the less it has influence upon the 
jury. Many juries have been influenced more by sym- 
pathy than facts; attorneys know that a widow, especially 
if she be beautiful, has a case against a corporation practi- 
cally won if it goes to the jury. A popular writer sums up 
the objection to the jury system as follows: 

"It may be safely given as the almost unanimous opinion 
of Bench and Bar that there is no other system of trials now 
in use that is subject to as much delay, inconvenience, 
vexation, expense, and uncertainty as the jury system. 
Although it has been claimed as one of the chief ornaments 
of the common law, the common law manifested its want of 
confidence in it by sending a large class of cases — the 
most comphcated ones, and often those involving the 
largest amounts — to auditors;' by making the admission 
of the least fragment of incompetent testimony ground for 
setting a verdict aside; and by giving to its judges power to 


annul verdicts if, in their opinion, contrary to law, contrary 
to evidence, founded on mistake, passion, or prejudice, or 
even if they think the damages awarded exorbitant." ^ 

Though much may be said against the jury system, 
more may be said in its favor. To abolish trial by jury 
would be to give to judges decision as to facts as well as to 
the law. Lawyers and judges are influenced by the tech- 
nicalities of the law; the jury system gready lessens the 
tendency toward deciding questions by mere technicalities. 

Fortunately, corrupt judges are rare, but the opportu- 
nities of such judges, if there were no juries, would be 
vastly greater than at present. The educational advan- 
tages of the jury system are not to be lightly regarded. 
To be a member of a jury is of real educational value to 
any layman. If good citizens would recognize jury ser- 
vice as a part of their duty toward the state, most of the 
objections to the jury system would disappear. 

''Trial by jury has deserved much of the praise bestowed 
upon it. It was a great advance upon trial by ordeal and 
trial by battle, which it superseded. It accomplished 
untold good in times when judges were the servile tools of 
royal power. It has been called the palladium of our 
liberty, and not seldom the independence and fearlessness 
of juries presented an impassable barrier to the attempts 
of the crown upon the liberties of the subject. Indeed, 
had it not been for the trial by jury we should not be the 
free people that we now are; and, as human nature is the 
same in all ages and everywhere, as history repeats itself 
in substance if not in form, as enormously rich individuals 
and corporations are fast becoming the successors to 

' Dole, "Talks about Law," p. 77. 


monarchs in power, it is not at all clear that this cumber- 
some, expensive, and uncertain method of trial can ever 
be safely dispensed with, and, with proper care in the 
selection of jurymen, it might perhaps be made a means of 
doing as much justice, and as little injustice, as is con- 
sistent with human imperfections. 

)j 1 


Describe the jurisdiction of three grades of state courts. 

How may judges be removed from office? 
Give an account of compurgation and trial by ordeal. 
What is a crime ? What is a civil case ? 
Describe a criminal trial. 

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of trial by jury. 
What is the difference between a sin and a crime? Is a 
crime always a sin? 

^ Dole, ''Talks about Law," p. 83. 



Suffrage. — With one exception, to be noted hereafter, 
the quaHfications which must be possessed by voters are 
left to the discretion of the state governments. In colonial 
days the right of suffrage in most colonies was much re- 
stricted. After the Revolution, religious qualifications 
gradually disappeared, and property quaHfications were, in 
the main, soon removed. This was at first due to a growth 
of democracy, followed by a competition of parties for the 
''foreign vote." The theory of representative government 
does not require that all members of the community shall 
vote. Minors, criminals, and the insane are denied the suf- 
frage in every state. In most states women, and paupers 
in institutions, cannot vote. The usual requirements for 
the exercise of the suffrage are as follows: 

1. Age requirement. All states require that a voter 
shall be twer.ty-one years of age. 

2. Residence requirement. Usually a residence witliin 
the state for six months or a year is required. A shorter 
term of residence is commonly required in the county 
and in the election district. United States citizenship is 
required in most states, though in several an alien who has 
declared his intention to become a citizen may vote. No 
man may vote in two places, unlike England whjere a man 
may vote wherever he has the qualifications. 

3. Economic qualifications. In the states of Pennsyl- 
vania, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, 
Mississippi, and South Carolina the payment of a tax is 
nominally a qualification for voting. 


Any one who has seen the large number of tramps and 
loafers who vote at every important election in our large 
cities would acknowledge that there are good arguments in 
favor of a small property quahfication. 

4. Moral qualifications. Persons convicted of serious 
crimes, including offenses against the purity of the ballot, 
are by law disfranchised and are disqualified for holding 
office. Unfortunately these laws are not often rigidly en- 
forced. Persons guilty of habitual polygamy are excluded 
from voting in the territories by a United States statute, 
and local laws to the same effect exist in Utah and Idaho. 

5. An educational qualification^ usually ability to read 
the constitution and write one's own name, exists in the 
states of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, 
Wyoming, and California. 

Within the last few years the states of Virginia, North 
CaroHna, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and 
Louisiana have amended their constitutions so as to require 
an educational qualification or the payment of a tax as a 
condition for registration, and registration is in each of 
these states a prerequisite to voting. The educational 
requirements of these constitutions have been vigorously 
attacked on the ground that they were designed to dis- 
franchise the negroes. It may be said, however, that in 
no southern state is a negro legally prevented from voting 
because he is a negro. The Constitution of the United 
States provides that suffrage shall not be denied " on account 
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,"^ and 

* Fifteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court has decided that 
this does not apply to Mongolians. Chinese are legally disfran- 
chised in California, Nevada, and Oregon. 


the southern states have not attempted to disqualify 
negroes as such. Moreover, in no southern state is a 
negro disquahficMl, unless for crime or other good reason, 
if he can show ability to use the English language intelli- 
gently and ]X)ssesses three hundred dollars' worth of prop- 
erty. The real objection to these constitutional pro- 
visions is confined to two clauses which are found in several 
state constitutions. One of them is the "grandfather 
clause," found in the constitutions of Louisiana and North 
Carolina, which permits all persons who could vote in 
1867, and their descendants, to vote if they register prior 
to a given date. This would exclude most negroes and 
admit most of the whites. The time limit attached to this 
act has already expired in Louisiana, and will expire in 
North Carolina in 1908, but those who have once registered 
continue to be voters. The other clause, known as the 
''understanding clause," found in the constitutions of 
Virginia,^ South Carolina, and Mississippi, permits the 
registrars to exclude from the suffrage any one who does 
not understand the constitution when he reads it or when 
it is read to him. An official might interpret such a clause 
so as to give him authority to disfranchise almost any 

The argument in favor of just educational qualifications, 
that is, ability to read and write, is incapable of answer. 
John Stuart Mill stated it in a concise form wdien he said: 
*' No one but those in whom a priori theory has silenced 
common sense, will maintain that power over others, over 
the whole community, should be imparted to those who have 
not acquired the commonest and most essential requisites 

' In Virginia this clause expired by limitation in 1904. 


for taking care of themselves — for pursuing intelligently 
their own interests, and those of the persons most nearly 
allied to them." 

Woman Suffrage. — Women may vote at all elections 
in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah. 
In Kansas women may vote in municipal elections, and 
in a majority of the states they may vote on school questions. 

The arguments usually advanced in favor of woman 
suffrage are as follows: women possess in no less degree 
than men the moral and educational qualifications neces- 
sary for intelligent voting; women are taxpayers and 
should have a voice in the election of those officials who 
are to administer the public revenues; the presence of 
women at the polls would exercise an elevating influence on 

Against woman suffrage it is urged that suffrage is not 
a right that may be demanded, but a privilege extended 
by the state to those whom it deems especially qualified; 
that women are now represented; that domestic and social 
duties sufficiently tax the time and strength of women; 
that active participation in politics would detract from 
home duties; that the majority of women do not wish the 
suffrage and would not vote if they had it. 

Registration. — Registration of qualified voters is re- 
quired as a prerequisite to voting in a majority of the states 
of the Union and in almost all of the cities. Registration is 
usually required before the regular election officers on 
appointed days from a month to two weeks before the elec- 
tion day. This gives an opportunity to exclude in advance 
persons who are not qualified, and to carefully investigate 
all doubtful cases. 



Two systems of registration are in vogue: one requires 
registration for every election; the other permits the name 
of a person once registered to remain on the books until 
removed for cause. 

The superiority of the former over the latter plan is 

Methods of Voting. — The Australian ballot, so called 
from the place of its origin, is now in general use through- 
out the United States. Names of all candidates are printed 
on an official ballot, issued by the state and never allowed 
to depart from its possession, except when being marked 
by the voter. The voter after entering the polling place, 
receives a ballot from the election officers, retires into a 
booth, and there marks a cross in front of the name of each 
candidate for whom he desires to vote, or votes a '' straight" 
ticket by putting a cross in a circle under the party emblem. 
In most states names of candidates are arranged by parties, 
thus making it easy to vote a straight .ticket ; but in Mass- 
achusetts and California candidates are arranged alpha- 
betically without regard to party affiliation. Under the 
Australian ballot system no one can tell for whom a man 
votes, and thus bribery is reduced to a minimum by uncer- 
tainty in regard to delivering the vote. Ballots marked for 
identification cannot legally be counted. 

Voting machines have been tried with success in many 
parts of the country. Their operation is very simple: the 
voter enters a booth containing a macliine and pulls a 
knob opposite the name of each candidate for whom he 
desires to vote, or may vote a straight ticket. The machine 
automatically records the total vote cast and the number 
of, votes each candidate has received, thus eliminating any 


question of fraud in counting the ballots. The expense of 
the machines has been the chief objection to their general 

The Counting of Ballots. — As soon as the polls are closed, 
the counting (canvass) of the votes begins. Each party 
is permitted to have one or more watchers to see that the 
officials do their work fairly. Returns from each election 
district after being counted are sent to the city, county, 
or district canvassing board and afterward to the state 
board. After the election returns have been officially 
canvassed, certificates of election are given to successful 

Minority and Proportional Representation. — With the 
exception of a few states which require a majority of all 
votes cast for the election of a candidate for governor, in 
default of which the election of governor goes to the legis- 
lature, elective offices in the United States are filled by 
persons who have received the largest number of votes 
even though they have not received more than half the 
votes cast. A person receiving the highest number of 
votes, when the number is less than a majority, is elected 
by a plurality. 

When there are several offices to be filled, as city council- 
men or members of a legislature, it may happen that all the 
offices are given to one party, while the other party, casting 
perhaps forty per cent, of the total vote, elects no candidate. 

There are two plans in vogue whereby minority parties 
are given representation. One of these is illustrated by 
the election of county commissioners in Pennsylvania. 
There are three county commissioners, but no one may 


vote for more than two candidates, thus a minority party 
is sure of electing one candidate. Another plan is in vogue 
in Illinois for choosing members of the legislature. In 
that state each district is represented in the legislature 
by three members. Every voter has three votes and may 
cast all of them for one candidate, with the result that the 
minoritv party by concentrating on one candidate, is gen- 
erally sure of electing one representative. 

Proportional representation is an effort to give representa- 
tion in proportion to the votes cast. Advocates of pro- 
portional representation point to certain evils of the present 

"Suppose a legislature to be composed of forty members 
elected from forty districts, and that the popular vote of 
the political parties stands respectively 120,000 and 100,000. 
If the districts are so arranged as to have 5,500 voters each, 
and the parties happen to be divided in the districts in the 
same proportion as at large, wc should have in each dis- 
trict a vote respectively of 3,000 and 2,500. All of the 
forty candidates of the majority would be elected, and the 
minority wholly excluded. An extreme result like this 
seems improbable, but it sometimes occurs." ^ 

The details of plans for proportional representation are 
too extensive to be given in this connection. In general, 
the plan is to find the unit of representation by dividing 
the number of offices of a certain grade to be filled by the 
number of votes cast. Each party elects one candidate 
for each unit of representation cast; if all offices are not 
then filled, the unfilled office is given to the party having 
the largest remainder after division by the unit of repre- 

' Commons, " Proportional Representation," pp. 48-49. 


Another merit of proportional representation would be 
to destroy the temptation to arrange districts to the advan- 
tage of one party. 

Advocates of proportional representation err, however, 
when they state that minorities are unrepresented. An 
officer represents the people, not a party. 

Election Districts. — For many offices there is no diffi- 
culty in regard to election districts. The entire state must 
be regarded as a district for important state officials; in like 
manner counties and cities serve as districts for many offices. 

In electing members of legislative bodies, it has become 
the custom to divide states and cities into districts of nearly 
equal population and elect one representative from each 
district. Changes in population require many changes in 
districting, and the party in power has opportunities to 
arrange the redistricting to its own advantage. Frequently 
districts are arranged with little regard to contiguity, so as 
to give the party in power a number of districts by small 
though safe majorities, and to group the opposition in a 
few districts with large majorities. This is called gerry- 
mandering^ and can be characterized by no milder term 
than a crime against democracy. 

^ The term "gerrymander" originated in Massachusetts in 1812. 
Elbridge Gerry was the governor, and the Democratic party had 
succeeded in passing a law, Feb. 11, 181 2, which so arranged sen- 
atorial districts as to give the Democrats the best possible chance 
of winning. Natural and time-honored dividing lines were disre- 
garded. Gilbert Stuart, seeing, in the office of the Columhian 
Centinel, an outline of the Essex outer district, added with a pencil 
a beak to Salisbury and claws to Salem and Marblehead, and ex- 
claimed, "There, that will do for a salamander." "Salamander," 
exclaimed the editor, "I call it Gerrymander." See article by 
Professor Ware in American Law Review, January. 1872. 


The Caucus and Primary. — Nominations for elective 
offices are no less important than elections. In the New 
England towns nominations are usually made in a very 
simple manner. Often candidates are put in nomination 
at the town meeting without any previous arrangement. 
When it is known that there will be a contest, candidates 
either announce themselves or are nominated in parlor 
caucuses, or private gatherings of their supporters. 

The usual method for nominating candidates for minor 
local offices or for election of delegates to a local party 
convention is by a caucus or primary.^ 

In some places a caucus, or primary, is a gathering of 
party voters, like a town meeting, and there is more or less 
opportunity for discussing the merits of candidates. More 
often they are conducted after the manner of regular 
elections, and party members vote for candidates who have 
announced themselves, or have been announced by ''parlor 
caucuses," or presented by a party committee. Difficulty 
has sometimes arisen by members of other parties voting 
at the primary, and to prevent this, rules of eligibility are 
necessary. The primary law of New York state, which, 

^ The terms "caucus" and ''primary" are used differently in 
various parts of the country. In New England a gathering of 
party voters for the purpose of making nominations, is commonly 
called a caucus. In some of the middle states and most of the 
West, party meetings or elections are called primaries. In some 
states they are known as primary elections. Some persons make 
a distinction, applying the term "caucus" to a mass meeting of voters 
called for the purpose of making elections, and "primary" to a 
party election conducted by ballot after the manner of a regular 
election. See Dallinger, "Nominations for Elective Offices," p. 53, 


as amended in 1901, is one of the best laws of the kind, 
gives to every registered voter an opportunity to enroll 
with any poHtical party and the right to vote at the prima- 
ries of his party for the ensuing year. At each regular 
election, every voter is provided with an envelope and a 
ballot by the election inspectors. On this ballot he marks 
with a cross the party with which he wishes to affiliate, 
and seals the ballot within the envelope. One week after 
election the envelopes are opened, and the voter is enrolled 
as a member of the party of his choice. Less liberal rules 
than these are in vogue in most states and cities. 

In many places persons may not qualify to vote at the 
primaries unless they will promise in advance to support 
the nominee, and as few independent voters care to make 
such a promise many voters are debarred from taking part 
in making nominations. "General intention" to support 
the party or having supported the party at the last election 
are requirements in many places. At first the primary 
was independent of any statute law and its affairs were 
regulated by party usage, but now primaries are generally 
required to be conducted in accordance with a state 

Nominating Conventions. — Nominations for city,^ county, 
and state aft'airs are as a rule made by nominating con- 
ventions. Delegates to the city and county conventions 
are chosen generally at primaries; delegates to state con- 
ventions are as a rule chosen at city and county conventions ; 

^ In some cities representatives to the city council are nominated 
by a ward caucus; also in some cities, where the ward is an election 
district, this is the method of nominating candidates for the state 


vcrv often delegates are elected with the understanding 
that they will support certain candidates, or are so "in- 
structed" by conventions. The state convention alone 
will be described, as county and city conventions, though 
simpler, are of the same general nature. 

The call for the convention, issued by the state committee 
of the political party concerned, names the time and place 
of the convention and states the number of delegates 
assif^ned to each district. The convention is called to 
order bv the chairman of the state committee and, after 
prayer by some prominent clergyman, solemnly proceeds 
to select a list of officers prepared in advance by the com- 
mittee. After the appointment of a number of necessary 
committees a permanent chairman is elected, who immedi- 
ately delivers a carefully prepared speech on the issues of 
the campaign. Then comes the report of the committee 
on credentials, which includes its decision on contested 
seats, and as soon as this is approved by the convention, a 
platform, or statement of the attitudes of the party on pend- 
ing issues, is offered for the consideration of the convention 
by the committee on resolutions. After adopting the 
platform, the convention is ready to proceed to the nomina- 
tion of candidates for offices. Nominations begin with 
the highest office to be filled. Carefully prepared nominat- 
ing speeches are made by men selected for that purpose, 
and after a ballot has been taken the votes are counted 
by a committee appointed by the chair. A majority vote 
is required for nomination. 

State conventions usually follow the plans arranged in 
advance ])y the state committee, and this is almost neces- 
sary, as the conventions are large and unwieldy. The 
great power given to the state committee has, however, 


not infrequently been used in opposition to the wishes of a 
majority of the people/ 

Nomination by Petition. — Almost all the states require 
that a party must have cast a certain percentage of votes, 
or a certain number of votes, in order to receive a place 
on the official ballot. Other candidates may be put in 
nomination and their names placed upon the official ballot 
by filing with the proper officer a petition signed by a spe- 
cified number of qualified voters. The number required 
for state officers varies from 6,000 in New York to 50 in 
Mississippi, and the percentage from one-half of one per 
cent, in Pennsylvania to five per cent, in California. For 
Congressional and local nominations a smaller number is 
generally required; the states requiring a percentage usu- 
ally retain the same figure. 

The Party Machine. — In order to do effective work 
there must be some permanent party organization. This 
is found in the party committee. Each political party has 
city, county, and state committees. These committees, 
either alone or associated with other politicians, are known 
by their friends as "the organization" and by their enemies 
as "the machine." To the organization belongs the duty 
of arranging meetings, sending out campaign literature, 
soliciting funds, calling conventions, and other necessary 
work of like character. 

^ The "snap" New York State Democratic convention of Feb. 
22, 1892, is a good example. This convention sent a solid Hill 
delegation to the national convention, though beyond doubt the 
majority of Democratic voters in the state favored the candidacy 
of Mr. Cleveland. 


''The organization becomes dangerous when it passes 
beyond initiative and suggestion and routine work, and 
assumes the sole right to select persons for party nomina- 
tion; or when, by preventing a fair expression of the will 
of the party voters, it forces unfit candidates upon the 
ticket; or when, going to the furthest extreme, it arranges 
with the worst elements in the other party for a division of 
the public employments and public contracts for private 

The Boss. — Within every political organization there is 
sure to be a leader. Such leadership, if directed toward 
the public welfare, becomes a powerful force for good. 
At his worst the boss is determined to hold the offices for 
his friends at all hazards. In order to do this he will use 
every opportunity to strengthen his political following; 
many men will be attached to him by his personality, and 
more by the pecuniary advantages he can give them. A 
successful ward boss will bail his constituents out of jail 
when they are in trouble, will secure positions for them in 
the public service or from contractors who wish his favor, 
will furnish relief for the unfortunate, and in a thousand 
ways will build up a large following. Sometimes the boss 
is content with the possession of political power, and ex- 
pends his own money ; but often, especially in the cities, the 
boss accumulates a fortune for himself or his friends, and 
the public pays the bill. 

The unscrupulous boss can secure large sums of money 
from corporations on promise of favors or by threats of 
injurv, and may even permit vice to flourish in return for 

' Hart, "Actual Government," pp. 98-99. 


a cash payment. At his worst the boss makes politics a 
commercial enterprise for private gain instead of a means 
of serving the public. 

A machine organized for pubhc plunder is always sup- 
ported by a compact, well-organized minority, which has 
great advantages over an unorganized majority. 

Fortunately those in favor of good government are find- 
ing out the necessity of organized effort, and the result of 
an awakened civic spirit is manifest in many places. 


1. What are the usual qualiiications that a voter must possess? 

2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a property 

3. In what respects do you consider the educational qualifica- 
tions of the southern states open to criticism ? 

4. In what state may women vote at all elections? Give argu- 
ments against and in favor of woman suffrage. 

5. Describe the Australian (or blanket) ballot. 

6. What is minority representation? What is proportional rep- 
resentation ? 

7. Describe the usual methods of nominating local and state 

8. What is meant by the expressions ''party machine" and 


1. State the qualifications that voters must possess in your 
state. Are these qualifications wise and sufficient in your judg- 
ment ? 

2. Are there any reasons why women should be permitted to 
vote at elections for the purpose of choosing school directors that do 
not equally apply to elections for governor? 

3. Consult a dictionary in regard to the meaning of "alien" 
"denizen," and "citizen.'-' 


4. How are candidates for olTice nominated in your city, village, 
or town ? 

5. Has your state been "gerrymandered" recently? Show how 
it might be so treated with advantage to the party now in power. 

6. Is the "boss" a necessary evil? 


Bryce, " American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chaps. XXXIX, 

Hart, "Actual Government," pp. 66-116. 

Woodburn, " Political Parties and Party Problems," Chaps. 

Dallinger, " Nominations for Elective Office." 

Commons, " Proportional Representation." 

Stanton, ** Woman Suffrage " (3 vols.). 


Colonial Conditions. — Until the meeting of the First 
Continental Congress in 1774, the thirteen English Colo- 
nies in America had never united for any purpose. Each 
colony had its own executive, legislature, and courts, and 
each had its own relations to England. The country was 
sparsely settled, roads were poor, and there was little to 
draw the colonies together. It is very doubtful whether 
the English government would have looked with favor 
upon colonial union. 

There were, however, some bonds of sympathy which 
should not be overlooked: the colonists were, in the main, 
of the same race and spoke a common language; the same 
political ideas were at the basis of their governments; 
common dangers threatened them. 

New England Confederation. — The four colonies of 
Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Plymouth, and Con- 
necticut in 1643 formed, under the name of the United 
Colonies of New England, a defensive and offensive alliance 
which lasted for forty years. It was not a government, 
but an alliance for the sake of offering more effective 
resistance to the Indians, the French, and the Dutch. Its 
historical significance was, that it made the colonists famil- 
iar with the idea of common interests and actions. 

The Albany Conference. — In 1754 danger of war with 

France led to a meeting in Albany of representatives from 

New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, 



Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Benjamin Franklin, who 
was the leading s])irit in the movement, presented a plan 
for union which included an executive to be appointed by 
the king, and a council of forty-eight members to be elected 
by the legislatures of the colonies. The plan was approved 
by neither the Board of Trade in England nor the colonial 
legislatures. In the words of Franklin, "the crown dis- 
ajjproved it as having too much weight in the democratic 
part of the Constitution, and every Assembly as having 
allowed too much to prerogative." 

The Stamp Act Congress. — Opposition to the obnoxious 
Stamp Act had led Massachusetts to suggest a congress of 
all the colonies. Delegates from nine colonies^ assembled 
in New York in October, 1765, and drew up a protest, 
which they called the ''Declaration of Rights," in which 
they denied the authority of Parliament to tax them, as 
it was their right as Englishmen to be taxed onh' by their 

The Stamp Act was soon after repealed, but new griev- 
ances followed. 

The First Continental Congress (1774). — The repeal 
of the Stamp x\ct was followed by a series of taxes on 
imported goods, and, because of the resistance of the 
colonies to these taxes, by coercive measures. Feeling in 
the colonies was growing bitter, and a call for a congress 
to protest against the acts of Parhament met with a ready 
response. All the colonies, except Georgia, w^re repre- 

* New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia were 
not represented, though they sympathized with the action of the 
other colonies. 


sented in the First Continental Congress which met in 
Philadelphia. The Congress issued a new declaration of 
rights addressed to the people of England and America 
and sent a petition to the king. 

But they did not content themselves with protests; they 
formed an American Association for the purpose of enforc- 
ing non-importation, and this also served to unite all who 
were opposed to British aggression. 

The First Continental Congress was not a government, 
— it possessed no authority. It was, however, the most 
important assembly that had yet convened on American 
soil, and it served to strengthen the idea of united action. 
Before separating, the delegates called another congress to 
meet the loth day of May, 1775, i^ Philadelphia. 

Second Continental Congress (i 775-1 781). — All of 
the thirteen colonies were represented in the Second Con- 
tinental Congress. This remarkable assembly, without 
any definite authority, exercised the functions of a govern- 
ment for six years. During this time by its authority an 
army was organized, a debt contracted, independence 
declared, revenue raised, treaties negotiated, war waged, 
and other governmental duties performed. The Congress 
was organized as a single house in which each colony or 
state had an equal voice. It had no executive, but in 
itself united executive and legislative functions. This 
Congress was the first body in America to pass legisla- 
tive acts for all the colonies. Strictly speaking, it was 
hardly a government; its acts were not legally binding upon 
the colonies or upon individuals. The Second Continental 
Congress was a revolutionary body, made necessary by 
stress of war, which assumed and exercised authority. 


The Confederation. — As early as 1777, Congress passed 
the ])lan of union embraced in the Articles of Confedera- 
tion. It was provided that the Articles should go into 
effect as soon as they were ratified by all the states. Some 
of the smaller states refused to ratify until the larger states 
would surrender their western lands to the national govern- 
ment. Maryland was particularly obstinate. The delay 
in ratification was really an immense service to the Union, 
as the ceding of the western lands was the foundation of 
the national domain. Had Virginia alone retained her 
claims to western territory, the history of the United States 
might have been different. 

The Articles w^re at length adopted by all the states 
in 1 781. The purpose of this "league of friendship" was 
"common defense, the security of their liberties, and their 
mutual and general welfare." It was declared that each 
state retained its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, 
and every power, jurisdiction, and right which was not by 
the Confederation expressly delegated to the United States 
in Congress assembled. 

Nature of Government Under the Articles of Confedera- 
tion. — The Articles of Confederation really formed a 
league and not a State. The people at that time feared 
the creation of a tyrant at home, and it was only through 
bitter experience that they were to learn that a weak gov- 
ernment is an object of contempt, and that a strong central 
authority is not incompatible with liberty. 

A Congress, consisting of one house, w^as the organ of 
government. Each state might be represented in Congress 
by not less than two or more than seven delegates, to be 
chosen annually in whatever manner the state legislature 
might prescribe. 


The majority of the delegates were to decide the vote 
of the state on all questions, and each state had one vote. 
No important measure could pass without the assent of 
nine states. There was no national judiciary and no 
national executive; a committee consisting of one member 
from each state might exercise certain powers during a 
recess of Congress. 

The Powers of Congress. — Congress theoretically had 
authority to declare war, make treaties, appropriate money, 
regulate coinage, build and equip a navy, and regulate 
other matters of common interest, but its real authority 
was very limited. 

Weakness of the Government. — The most conspicuous 
feature of the government was its weakness. The principal 
defects were as follows: 

1. Congress had no authority to enforce its decrees. A 
single state might disregard with impunity an act of Con- 
gress, and there was no way to compel obedience. There 
was neither judiciary nor executive. 

2. All important measures required the votes of nine 
states. This meant no legislation on most matters. 

3. No ability to regulate commerce. Congress had no 
power to tax imports. England put heavy taxes on Ameri- 
can goods and closed her ports in the West Indies to Ameri- 
can ships, but Congress could not retaliate. Congress was 
even powerless to regulate inter-state commerce. New 
York taxed farm products from New Jersey and Connecti- 
cut, but Congress could do nothing. 

4. Impossibility of amendment. The Articles could be 
amended only by unaninious vote, and every effort at 


amendment failed through the selfish action of one or more 

5. Treaty obligations could not he enforced. Foreign 
states looked with contempt upon so weak a government 
and would not enter into relations with it. England kept 
troops on the western border in defiance of the treaty of 


6. There were no means of raising adequate revenue. 
Most of the revenue was raised by requisitions upon 
the states, but the states paid only part of the sums due 
or neglected to pay anything. No more money could be 
borrowed, and Congress was obliged to issue paper money ; 
but the people did not believe that it would ever be redeemed 
in gold and silver, and it soon became practically worthless. 

During the first few years of its existence, the Confeder- 
ation did not disclose its fundamental weakness; the early 
issues of paper money even gave rise to a fictitious f)ros- 
perity. As time went on, paper money ceased to have value, 
the states more and more disregarded requisitions for 
money, and the interest on the pubhc debt could not be paid. 
Congress was unable to pay even the ordinary expenses of 
government, and all efforts to amend the Constitution, so 
as to give Congress- authority to tax imports, were unavail- 
ing. The personnel of Congress also declined; men thought 
service under the state governments to be more honorable. 

Even the coming of peace added to the perplexities of 
Congress. With no war to unite them in a common 
cause, the states quarreled with one another. 

By the close of the year 1786, it had been abundantly 
demonstrated that the Confederation was a "rope of sand," 
and thoughtful men knew that the only alternative to an- 
archy lay in a stronger central government. 


The i\nnapolis Conference. — The states of Virginia and 
Maryland appointed delegates who met at Alexandria in 
1786 in order to- make some agreement in regard to navi- 
gation of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. It 
was seen, however, that other states were interested in 
these and similar questions, and all the states were in\dted 
to send delegates to a trade convention to be held in Annap- 
ohs in September of the same year. Although nine states 
had elected delegates, only five states were represented at 
the meeting. The delegates saw that they could do noth- 
ing in regard to trade regulations, and they therefore, acting 
on the suggestion of Alexander Hamilton, issued a call for 
a national convention to be held in Pliiladelphia for the 
purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. 



What tendencies toward union existed in colonial days 

2. What was the New England Confederacy? 

3. Give an account of the Second Continental Congress and 
compare it with the First Continental Congress. 

4. Explain the delay in the ratification of the Articles of Con- 

5. Show wherein the Articles of Confederation were defective. 


I. Comment upon the bearing of the following quotation on 
American conditions in 1787: 

"A population speaking a common language and having common 
ideas as to the fundamental principles of rights and wrongs, and resi- 
dent upon a territory separated by high mountain ranges or broad 
bodies of water or by climatic differences from other territory, 
presents us with the natural basis of a true and permanent political 
establishment." — J. W. Burgess. 


2. The Germans call a confederation a Staatenbmid, or band of 
states; and a federal nation a Bundesstaat, or banded state. Show 
the appropriateness of this distinction. 

3. Why has the period from 1 783-1 789 been called the "Critical 
Period of American History"? 

4. Why was not a stronger union formed in 1781? 

5. What differences might have resulted in American history 
had Virginia not surrendered her western lands to the United 


Wilson, " The State," pp. 46^473- 

Walker, " Making of the Nation," Chap. I. 

Fiske, " Critical Period of American History," Chaps. HI, IV, V. 



The Meeting of the Federal Convention. — Fifty- five 
delegates representing all the states took part in the sessions 
of the Convention. Among them were the most able men 
whom the states could furnish. Washington, the most 
influential man in Am.erica, was a representative from 
Virginia and was made president of the Convention. James 
Madison, of Virginia, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, 
and James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, the Pinckneys and John 
Rutledge, of South Carolina, Elbridge Gerry, of Massa- 
chusetts, John Dickinson, of Delaware, rVlexander Hamil- 
ton, of New York, and William Paterson, of New Jersey, 
were among the most prominent members. 

With few exceptions the members of the Convention 
were able and trusted men. There were some notable 
absentees: Jefferson was serving his country as Minister 
to France, and John Adams was Minister to England; 
Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, and Rich- 
ard Henry Lee had not approved of the Convention. 

The delegates differed widely in regard to what changes 
in the frame of government were necessary. Some wished 
to amend the Articles of Confederation so as to give the 
United States government more power; others desired to 
draw up an entirely new constitution. Fortunately the 
latter were in a majority, even though they had received 
no such instructions from the states. 

All proceedings were in secret, and each state had one 



1 12 


The Large vs. the Small States; The Connecticut Com- 
promise. — The Convention divided into two factions; 
one representing the large states, the other the small states. 
Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, presented a plan of govern- 
ment which was approved by the large states. This plan 
was known as the Virginia plan, and was chiefly the work 
of Madison. The Virginia plan provided for a Congress 
of two houses, which should have power to pass laws 
on all matters of national importance and should be able 
to enforce obedience. States were to be represented in 
each house in proportion to their population, aijd thus the 
larger states would control legislation. According to this 
plan Congress would have the power of appointing the 
heads of the executive and judicial departments, and so 
the large states would control the entire government. The 
Virginia plan was very distasteful to the small states. 
They favored as an alternative, a plan introduced by 
Paterson, of New Jersey. The New Jersey plan merely 
revised the Articles of Confederation, retaining a single 
house with an equal state vote. The question at issue was 
happily settled by the Connecticut compromise, so called 
because presented by the Connecticut delegates. Accord- 
ing to this famous compromise each state was to be repre- 
sented in proportion to population in the lower house of 
Congress, but in the Senate each state was to have two 
representatives, each of whom might cast one vote.^ 

The Three-Fifths Compromise. — A most vexing differ- 
ence arose between the slave and free states over the 
question as to whether slaves should be counted in appor- 

' An important modification of the plan in the Congress of the 
Confederation, where each state had one vote. 


tioning representatives in the lower house and in deter- 
mining the amount of direct taxes each state might be called 
upon to pay. The southern states wished slaves to be 
counted for representation but not for taxation purposes; 
the northern states held exactly the opposite position. 
The matter was at last settled by a compromise, suggested 
by Madison, whereby five negro slaves were to be counted 
as three whites for both representation and taxation. This 
compromise is known as the three- fifths compromise. 

The Third Great Compromise. — The last great compro- 
mise also had to deal with the question of slavery. Georgia 
and South Carolina were opposed to any interference with 
the slave trade; the northern delegates as well as some 
from the South wished the importation of slaves to be 
prohibited. The northern states, where commerce was 
important, desired to give Congress control over commerce; 
the people of the southern states, where agriculture was 
the only industry, thought Congress should not be per- 
mitted to pass trade laws by less than a two-thirds majority. 
Here was material for another compromise. It was agreed 
that Congress might pass laws by a mere majority, but 
that no export tax should ever be levied, and that the slave 
trade might not be prohibited until the year 1808. 

The Convention's Work Finished. — After the three 
great compromises were settled, the work of the Conven- 
tion proceeded more smoothly. The Convention decided, 
after considerable debate, in which many plans were sug- 
gested, upon a single executive to be chosen for a term of 
four years. The method of electing a president, the judi- 
ciary, and the division of powers between the states and 


the nation, were settled without serious difficulty, and after 
having been in session a little over four months the Conven- 
tion adjourned. The Convention had previously declared 
that the Constitution should go into effect as soon as 
accepted by nine states. The Constitution was now in 
the hands of the people for acceptance or rejection. 

Friends and Opponents of the Constitution. — As soon as 
the Constitution was before the people, a vigorous cam- 
paign over its adoption commenced. Opponents of the 
Constitution, known as Anti- Federalists, found fault 
because there was no bill of rights, objected to the vast 
powers conferred upon the nation, said that the Confeder- 
ation was preferable, and feared that the President would 
become a tyrant. 

The friends of the Constitution, known as Federalists, 
urt^ed the necessity of the new form of government and 
showed the weakness of the old instrument. Many pam- 
phlets and newspaper articles appeared during the cam- 
paign, by far the ablest of which was a series of documents 
known as ''The Federalist" of which Hamilton, Madison, 
and Jay were the authors. "The FedcraHst" was written 
for the purpose of showing the nature of the government 
which the Constitution would give and was a campaign 
document, yet it "has not only become a classic in our 
national political literature, but is the repository of the 
best, and, apart from judicial decisions, the most authori- 
tative expositions of the extensive text of the Constitution." 

The Constitution Ratified. — The Constitution was 
ratified by state conventions whose members were chosen 
by the people of the different states. Delaware had 


the honor of being the first to ratify, which it did 
unanimously on Dec. 6, 1787. -The great state of 
Pennsylvania was the first in which there was a serious 
contest, but it ratified by a two-thirds majority on 
Dec. 17. Soon after New Jersey and Georgia ratified 
unanimously. Connecticut ratified without much diffi- 
culty; but in the Massachusetts convention ratification 
was seriously opposed, and the convention only consented 
to approve the instrument on condition that a bill of rights 
be demanded. Maryland, South Carolina, and New Hamp- 
shire approved in the order named. There were now the 
necessary nine states, but the great states of Virginia and 
New York were not yet '' under the new roof, " and without 
them the Union could hardly be successful. Virginia 
ratified by a close vote, after an agreement to ask for a bill 
of rights, and New York followed in a few weeks by a 
slender majority of three. The ratification of New York 
was chiefly due to the splendid talents of Hamilton, who 
persuaded a number of former opponents to favor the 
Constitution. North Carolina and Rhode Island did not 
ratify until after the Constitution went into effect. 

The Sources of the Constitution. — The delegates who 
assembled in the Federal Convention came from communi- 
ties in which there had been years of experience with 
charters and constitutions. 

In forming the National Constitution, colonial and state 
experience had a powerful influence over every delegate. 
Back of this experience was the common heritage in the 
English Constitution. 

Even a very superficial comparison of the English and the 
American constitutions will show many close resemblances. 


The following arc among the features not attributable 
to the British Constitution, though colonial experience 
more or less closely accounts for all of them : 

1. The Federal idea. The United States Government 
is a federation of states, in each of which local self-govern- 
ment remains intact. 

2. The power of the Supreme Court to declare a legis- 
lative act unconstitutional. 

3. The Constitution is a written instrument.^ 

4. The careful separation of executive and legislative 

5. The method of electing a President. 


1. Describe three compromise measures adopted by the Federal 

2. What was "The Federalist"? 

3. Describe the campaign over the adoption of the Constitution. 

4. What were the sources of the Constitution ? 

5. Show some of the differences between the English Constitu- 
tion and the American Constitution. 


1. Did the convention have the authority to say that the Consti- 
tution wouM be binding when approved by nine states? 

2. Why were the sessions of the Convention not open to the 

3. What arguments were advanced in the states in favor of the 
Constitution? What were the arguments against it? See Fiske's 
"Critical Period of American History," Chap. VII. 

* See page 9. 


4. Comment upon these quotations bearing on the Constitu- 

"The whole edifice was constructed within the memory of man, 
upon abstract principles." — John Stuart Mill. 

"It is the greatest work ever struck off at any one time by the 
mind and purpose of man." — Gladstone. 

"There is little in that Constitution that is new. There is much 
that is as old as Magna Charta." — James Bryce. 


Fiske, " Critical Period of American History," Chaps. VI, VII. 
Schouler, " History of the United States," Vol. I, pp. 34-47, 53-73- 
Walker, " Making of the Nation," Chap. II. 



A Federal Republic. — In the Federal Convention one 
faction desired to form a centralized or national republic; 
another faction wished a mere confederation or league of 
states. The result was a compromise which really satisfied 
few if any delegates. ''Now the American Republic/' 
says Mr. Bryce, ''corresponds to neither of these two 
forms, but may be said to stand between them. Its cen- 
tral, or national government is not a mere league, for it 
does not wholly depend upon component committees, which 
we call the states. It is made up of commonwealths, but is 
itself a commonwealth because it claims directly the obe- 
dience of every citizen and acts immediately upon him 
through its courts and executive officers. Still less are its 
minor communities, the states, mere creatures of the 
national government, like the counties of England or the 
departments of France. They have over their citizens an 
authority which is their own, and not delegated by the 
central government. They have not been called into being 
by that government. . . . The Union is more than an 
aggregation of states, and the states are more than parts of 
the Union. "^ 

Departments of Government. — The Constitution, unlike 
the Confederation, provided adequate executive, legislative, 
and judicial departments. Each department of government 

' "American CommonweaUh," Vol. I, p. i6. Woodburn, 
"American Republic," pp. 59-70. "The Federalist," No. 39. 



was given well-defined functions, and each was rendered 
largely independent of the others. 

System of Checks and Balances. — The makers of the 
Constitution framed many provisions to guard against the 
excesses of democracy. Hasty legislation was prevented 
by requiring a bill to pass both houses and receive the 
approval of the President, and even then the Supreme 
Court might declare .a law contrary to the Constitution, 
and hence null and void. The President was not to be 
elected directly by the people, but by electors chosen by 
the people, and senators were to be elected by the state 
legislatures. The checks and balances of the Constitution 
were enumerated by John Adams as follows: "First, the 
states are balanced against the general government. Sec- 
ond, the House of Representatives is balanced against the 
Senate, and the Senate against the House. Third, the ex- 
ecutive authority is in some degree balanced against the 
legislature. Fourth, the judiciary is balanced against the 
legislature, the executive, and the state governments. Fifth, 
the Senate is balanced against the President in all appoint- 
ments to office and in all treaties. Sixth, the people hold 
in their hands the balance against their representatives by 
periodical elections. Seventh, the legislatures of the 
several states are balanced against the Senate by sexennial 
elections. Eighth, the electors are balanced against the 
people in their choice of President and Vice-President."^ 

Since the adoption of the Constitution, the United States 
has grown much more democratic, but most of the checks 
and balances mentioned by John Adams remain. 

1 John Adams, ''Works," Vol. VI, p. 467. 


Powers Given to the United States Government. — The 

])o\vcrs of the Federal government arc enumerated in the 
Constitution. They include the most important powers 
that can be exercised by a sovereign state. Not only is 
this true, but many sovereign powers are either denied 
unconditionally to the states, or may be exercised only by 
consent of Congress. 

Implied Powers. — The question whether Congress pos- 
sessed any authority not expressly granted by the Constitu- 
tion first arose in 1791 over the proposition to establish a 
Bank of the United States. Jefferson contended that 
Congress possessed no power to establish a bank, as it was 
not expressly granted in the Constitution; while Hamilton 
argued that such powers need not be expressly granted, being 
implied in the so-called elastic clause which gives Congress 
authority "to make all laws which shall be necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers 
and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the 
Government of the United States or in any department or 
officer thereof." ^ 

Hamilton said that a bank was necessary and proper in 
order to carry into effect specifically granted powers such as 
those relating to taxation and borrowing money. Those 
advocating Hamilton's position became known as '' loose 
constructionists," as they thought the clause should be con- 
strued liberally or loosely; their opponents, who believed 
in rigid construction, were called "strict constructionists." 
Hamilton and his friends succeeded in their efforts, and their 
position was later indorsed by the Supreme Court. Many 

' Art. I, Sec. VIH, clause 18. , 


measures, whose constitutionality depended upon loose 
construction, have been passed by Congress. Parties in 
power have generally adhered to loose construction, what- 
ever position they may have taken when out of power, and 
the nation as a result has steadily grown in importance 
and authority. 

Amendments. — Experience under the Articles of Con- 
federation proved that some reasonable method of amend- 
ment was necessary. The Constitution provides that a 
suggested amendment must be approved by a two-thirds 
vote of each house of Congress, or by a Convention which 
has met in response to a call of two-thirds of the state 
legislatures. The proposed amendment must then be 
ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, or by 
conventions chosen for that purpose in three-fourths of 
the states. Amendments are thus made difficult, but not 

The National Bill of Rights. — The first eight amend- 
ments to the Constitution constitute a bill of rights similar 
to those in the state constitutions. There was no little 
objection to the Constitution because it contained no bill 
of rights, and, therefore, one was passed by the first Con- 
gress and was promptly ratified by three-fourths of the 
state legislatures. Unless the states are specifically mentioned, 
limitations imposed by the Constitution are upon the United 
States government alone. 

Rarity of Amendments. — The amendments to the Con- 
stitution will be considered in their proper connection. 
W.e may, however, state now that formal amendments 


have been very few. The first ten amendments were 
proposed by the first Congress and were practically a part 
of the original instrument. The Eleventh Amendment 
belongs to the same period. It limits the judicial power 
of the United States so that a person cannot make a state a 
defendant before the United States courts. Such an amend- 
ment would never have been adopted after the national 
spirit had become strong, and it well shows the intense 
state feehng that prevailed when, in 1798, it was pro- 
claimed after having received the approval of three-fourths 
of the state legislatures. The last three amendments 
relate to questions arising from slavery and were passed 
under extraordinary circumstances. The Twelfth Amend- 
ment was passed in order to prevent a tie in voting for a 
President of the United States. The original instrument 
provided that electors should vote for two candidates 
without stating w^hich they desired to become President. 
The one receiving the highest vote became President, the 
one receiving the next highest vote became Vice-President. 
The Twelfth Amendment, passed as a result of a tie be- 
tween Jefferson and Burr, provided that electors should 
name their choice for President and Vice-President. 

In the long period stretching from 1804 to 1865, no formal 
amendment to the Constitution was made, nor has any 
been made since 1870. 


1. Show that the United States is more than a league of states. 

2. What is the value of the system of checks and balances found 
in the Constitution? 

3. Explain the difference between "strict construction" and 
"loose construction." 


4. W hy is the power of amendment to the Constitution neces- 

5. Explain the circumstances under which the various amend- 
ments have been passed. 


1. Why have parties in power generally inclined towards loose 
construction, while parties out of power have leaned toward strict 

2. In what way, other than by amendments, has the Constitu- 
tion been changed since 1787? 



A Single Executive. — The Federal Convention recog- 
nized the need of a real executive, but the fear of a one 
man power was so great that there were arguments advanced 
in favor of an executive committee. Fortunately the Con- 
vention decided that responsibility, promptness, and effi- 
ciency would be better secured under a single executive 
than under a board. The President, being elected by the 
people, is independent of other branches of government. 
The Constitution refers to the chief executive as the ''Pres- 
ident," and he is addressed as "Mr. President," or in 
official documents is the "President of the United States." 

Constitutional Qualifications. — The Constitution, Arti- 
cle II, Section i. Clause 4, gives the necessary qualifications 
for the President as follows: 

"No person except a natural born citizen, or a 
citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption 
of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of 
President; neither shall any person be eligible to that 
office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty- 
five years, and been fourteen years a resident within 
the United States." 

"Natural born" citizen includes those born of American 
parents on American ships in foreign ports or on the high 
seas, or in American Embassies and Consulates, all of 
which are considered, by the principles of ex-territoriality, 
as within the United States and under its laws. Children 




born to American parents who are traveling in foreign 
countries are also regarded as native born. 

Term of Service and Salary. — The President is elected 
for a term of four years. He is eligible to reelection, but 
custom has decreed that he shall not be given a third term. 
Washington refused to accept a third term, and Jefferson 
also refused to be candidate for a third term. Until 1880, 
when an effort was made by some of President Grant's 
friends to secure him a third term, the precedent was never 
in danger of being broken. President Grant failed to 
secure the nomination, and it is now regarded as part of 
the unwritten Constitution that a President is ineligible for 
a third term. 

The salary of the President is now fixed by law at $50,000 
a year; prior to 1873 i^ ^^^^ $25,000. 

The salary is regarded not as a recompense for services, 
but as affording the President the means of living in a 
style fitting his exalted office. The honor of the office is 
the President's reward. In addition to his salary, the 
President is given the use of the White House during his 
term of office. 

The Powers of the President. — The extent and variety 
of the President's powers place him among the most influ- 
ential of modern executives. Few monarchs have so 
much authority as the President exercises during his four 
years' term of office. ''The President enjoys more author- 
ity, if less dignity than a European king." His Cabinet 
is responsible to him and not to Congress, and he cannot 
be removed from office unless by impeachment, death, or 
incapacity to perform the duties of the office. 


Executive Power. — It is the President's duty under the 
Constitution to take care that the laws be faithfully exe- 
cuted. ''Four- fifths of his work is the same in kind as 
that which devolves on the chairman of a commercial com- 
pany or the manager of a railway, tlic work of choosing good 
subordinates, seeing that they attend to their business, and 
taking a sound practical view of such administrative 
questions as require his decision." ^ 

The President "shall nominate and by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint 
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, 
judges of the Supreme Court and all other officers of 
the United States, whose appointments are not herein 
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established 
by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appoint- 
ments of such inferior ofhcers, as they think proper, 
in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the 
heads of departments." ^ 

Congress has vested certain minor appointments in the 
President alone, in judges, and in heads of departments, 
but the majority of offices are filled by the President ''by. 
and with the advice and consent of the Senate." In 
making nominations the President is accustomed to rely 
to a large extent upon the advice of senators and repre- 
sentatives of his own party and heads of departments to 
whom the appointee will be responsible. A custom known 
as "senatorial courtesy" requires that appointments shall 
not be confirmed by the Senate unless acceptable to one or 
both of the senators of the state in which the officer will 

' Bryce, "American Commonwealth," Vol. I, p. 76. 
^ Const. Art. II, Sec. II, cl. 2. 


serve, provided they are members of the party in control 
of the Senate. 

The members of the Constitutional Convention never 
intended to give the appointive pov^er in order that it might 
be used for political ends. Officers who exercise some in- 
fluence on public policies should be in political harmony 
with the President; but the great army of officeholders, 
such as postmasters and revenue collectors, are administra- 
tive and not political officers. Their positions should be 
for life, or during good behavior. 

The Spoils System. — President Jackson was the first 
President to turn men out of office by wholesale for the 
sole reason that they had not voted for him. He did not 
invent the "spoils system;" ^ that was in full swing in New 
York and Pennsylvania before his election. Jackson was 
inclined to doubt the honesty and patriotism of anyone who 
differed from him politically, and he proceeded to turn out 
of office members of the Federal party and put Democrats 
in their places. The pernicious idea that rotation in office 
is a democratic principle had gained great strength about 
that time, and is not yet entirely eliminated. 

Civil Service Reform. — Congress has the power to deter- 
mine upon the qualifications of the officeholders, the con- 
ditions of their tenure of office, and methods of promotion. 
The first real step in the direction of civil ser\dce reform 
was taken in 1883 w^hen Congress passed an act creating 
a Civil Service Commission of three members, only two of 
whom might belong to the same political party. The Act 

^ W. L. Marcy, of New York, in defending the system before the 
Senate, used the expression, "to the victors belong the spoils," 


provided that competitive examinations should be held for 
testing the qualifications of candidates for minor positions 
in the departments at Washington, in the customs houses, 
and in post-ofhces where at least fifty officials were em- 
ployed. When a vacancy occurred it was to be temporarily 
filled from among the three applicants who stood highest on 
the list of those who had passed the examination, and final 
appointment was to be made after six months of satisfac- 
tory service. The law did not extend to positions for which 
appointment is made with the consent of the Senate, or to 
the positions filled by unskilled labor. The President was 
given authority to extend the ''classified service." At first 
there were included under the provisions of the Act about 
14,000 offices, but the number has increased until about 
half of the offices are under the protection of the civil 
service law. 

It is to be hoped that the law will soon cover all minor 
offices. Removal of officers protected by the Civil Service 
Law can only take place for cause and upon written charges, 
which the accused must be permitted to see and disprove 
if he can. 

Two provisions of the Act have been of great benefit: 
one of these prohibits the forcing of government employees 
to pay part of their salaries as a contribution to political 
funds, and the other prohibits the use of official authority 
from influencing or coercing the vote of any citizen. 

Power of Removal. — Removals from office, except those 
under the protection of the Civil Service Act, may be made 
by the President, and vacancies so created are filled by the 
advice and consent of the Senate. A vacancy may be 
filled during a recess of Congress on appointment of the 


President, and the appointment comes before the Senate 
for approval at its next session. 

The President's Use of Military Power. — The President 
is enjoined by the Constitution to protect every state from 
domestic violence on application of the legislature, or the 
executive when ^the legislature is not in session. The 
President is the sole judge as to whether the Federal troops 
should be ordered to the scene of disorder and whether 
martial law should be declared. 

Another clause of the Constitution requires the President 
to take care "that the laws be faithfully executed," and 
under this clause, when the laws of the United States are 
violated within a state or the functions of the Federal 
government are interrupted, the President may send troops 
to the seat of the disorder without awaiting any request from 
the state authorities, or even in opposition to the desires 
of the governor. In this manner President Cleveland 
intervened during the Chicago strikes of 1894, in order to 
protect inter-state commerce and to enforce compliance 
with the postal laws of the United States. 

War Powers of the President. — The powers of the Presi- 
dent may be vastly expanded in time of war. The Presi- 
dent is Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy and is 
responsible for "the faithful execution of the laws." Dur- 
ing the Civil War, President Lincoln, without awaiting 
authorization by Congress, proclaimed a blockade of 
southern ports, enlisted an army, suspended the writ of 
habeas corpus in many sections of the North, and emanci- 
pated the slaves. All of these were extraordinary acts, 
but they were justified on the plea of military necessity. 


President Lincoln wielded more power than "any. Eng- 
lishman has done since OHver Cromwell." ^ 

Legislative Power. — The President may advise Congress 
in regard to legislation, and he has a direct control over 
legislation. The advisory power is exercised by means of 
messages to Congress. The President's annual message, 
submitted to Congress during the first week of every session, 
is largely filled with accounts of the work of the executive 
departments and an account of the state of the country. 
The President may incorporate in his annual message 
recommendations in regard to legislation. Special mes- 
sages are sent to Congress at special sessions and at any 
other time when the President thinks it necessary. Special 
messages deal with specific questions and have exercised a 
great influence over legislation. Until the administration 
of Jefferson, it was the custom for the President to address 
Congress orally. Jefferson was an indifferent speaker, but 
he wielded a facile pen, and for this reason he preferred to 
send to Congress a written message. His example in 
this respect has been followed by his successors, and 
now no President would think of orally addressing 

Through the veto power, the President exercises direct 
control over legislation. If the President does not approve 
of a bill which has been presented to him for his signature, 
he may return it to the house in which it originated with a 
statement of his objections. The bill cannot then become 
a law unless it is passed over his veto by a two-thirds^ 

^ Bryce, "American Commonwealth," Vol. I, p. 6i. 

^ Two-thirds of a quorum, not of the total number elected. 


majority in each house. Should the President not return 
or sign a bill within ten days (Sundays excepted) after he 
has received it, the bill becomes a law without his signa- 
ture, unless the bill be received within ten days of adjourn- 
ment, in which case it cannot become a law without the 
President's signature. If the President refuses to sign or 
veto a bill which has been presented to him within ten days 
of adjournment, the bill is said to be defeated by a "pocket 

Treaty -making Power. — The treaty-making power is 
closely allied to legislative power, as a treaty is the supreme 
law of the land. Treaties must be consistent with the 
Constitution, otherwise they are null and void. A treaty 
may be repealed by a subsequent treaty or by a subse- 
quent law\ "If a treaty and a law are in opposition, their 
respective dates must decide whether the one or the other 
is repealed." 

The President is empowered "by and with the advice 
and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two- 
thirds of the senators present concur." The President, 
through the Secretary of State, has control over the framing 
of the treaties. The Senate may approve, reject, or modify 
the terms of a treaty. In case the terms of a treaty are 
modified by the Senate, the amendments must be approved 
by the President and the government concerned before the 
treaty goes into effect. 

The House of Representatives has no power in making 
treaties, though they are as much law as an act of Congress. 
The House might, however, refuse to vote money called for 
by a treaty, and it has claimed this right on numerous 


Pardoning Power. — The President has power to pardon 
or reprieve persons who have been convicted of violating 
national laws, except in cases of impeachment. 

The Vice-President. — The Vice-President is chosen in 
the same way as the President, and his qualifications are 
the same. He presides in the Senate, but has no vote, 
except in case of a tie. His annual salary is $8,000. 

''In case of the removal of the President from office, or 
of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the 
powers and duties of said office, the same shall devolve on 
the Vice-President." 


" The President, Vice-President, and all civil 
officers of the United States, shall be removed from 
office on impeachment for, and conviction of treason, 
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." 

(Const. Art. H, Sec. 4.) 

The House of Representatives has the sole power of 
impeachment, but the impeachment must be tried by the 
Senate, and no person can be convicted without a two- 
thirds vote of the members present. 

When the President of the United States is tried, the 
Chief-Justice of the United States must preside. No 
President of the United States has been removed from 
office by impeachment, though President Johnson, in 1868, 
narrowly escaped such a fate. 

Presidential Succession. — Should a Vice-President who 
has succeeded to the presidency be removed from office 


for any cause, it is provided by the Presidential Succession 
x\ct of 1886, that the following heads of executive depart- 
ments may succeed to the presidency in the order given: 

1. Secretary of State. 

2. Secretary of the Treasury. 

3. Secretary of War. 

4. Attorney-General. 

5. Postmaster- General. 

6. Secretary of the Navy. 

7. Secretary of the Interior. 


1. Mention five important duties of the President of the United 

2. What is the official designation of the President? 

3. Would a man born of American parents who were tempo- 
rarily residing in London, be eUgible to the presidency? 

4. What are the "war powers" of the President? 

5. Describe the "spoils system." What efforts have been made 
to lessen its application ? 

6. What is meant by "senatorial courtesy"? 

7. How may a President be removed from ofl&ce? 


1. Give reasons for the conditions governing eligibility to the 
office of President. 

2. What class of offices should be exempt from the requirements 
of the Civil Service Act ? Give reasons for your opinion. 

3. Why is the Secretary of State named first in the Presidential 
Succession Bill of 1886? 

4. Compare the power exercised by President Lincoln with the 
authority of a dictator under the Roman Republic. 



Bryce, " American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chaps. V-IX. 
Ford, ''American Politics," Chap. XXII. 
Wilson, " The State," Sees. 1323-1351. 
Hart, "Actual Government," Chap. XV. 
Woodburn, "American Republic," Chap. III. 



Rise of National Nominating Conventions. — There was 
no need of any system of nominations for the first three 
presidential elections. Washington had no opposition for 
the nomination, and in the third election Adams and 
Jefferson were, by common consent, the candidates of their 
respective parties. 

In 1800, candidates of both the Republican and Federal 
parties were nominated by a conference, or caucus, of the 
party members in Congress. This plan was followed in 
every election until 1820, when there was no Congressional 
caucus, as Monroe was the choice of all. The Congres- 
sional caucus was never again restored. In 1824, it is 
true, sixty-six Democrats attended a caucus and made a 
nomination for President, but their nominee was not ac- 
cepted by the party and was badly beaten at the polls. 
From 1824 to 1840, candidates for the presidency were 
nominated in a variety of ways: sometimes by state legis- 
lative caucuses; sometimes by state conventions; some- 
times by a ''mixed convention" composed of the party 
members of a state legislature, together with delegates 
from counties and towns not represented in the legislature 
by members of the party holding the convention. 

During this transition period, state candidates were 
nominated by state conventions, and the suggestion was 
often made that presidential candidates be nominated by 
a national convention. The first national nominating con- 



vention was held by the An ti- Masonic party in 1831 at 
Baltimore. In 1840, all parties made nominations in 
national conventions, and there has never since been a 
departure from this method. 

Selection of Delegates to a National Convention. — The 
national conventions of each party are composed of twice 
as many delegates from each of the states as the state 
has representatives and senators in Congress.* Delegates 
to the national conventions are chosen in various ways, 
but as a rule, two delegates are selected by the district con- 
ventions of each party and four delegates at large by the 
state conventions. The Democratic party has no uni- 
form rule, but the Republican party, in 1892, adopted a 
rule that "each Congressional district in the United States 
shall elect its delegates to the national convention in the 
same way as the nomination of a member of Congress is 
made in each district," and delegates at large shall be 
elected in the state conventions. In the same manner 
and at the same time with the delegates, ''alternates" are 
chosen who may take the place of regular delegates in case 
the latter cannot attend the convention. 

Meeting of a National Convention. — The national con- 
ventions always meet in a large city, and the sessions are 
held in immense halls. "The usual membership of two 
from each Congressional district, four delegates at large, 
and six from each territory, gives a total of 994."^ Alter- 

• Delegates from territories and District of Columbia are also 
^ Hart, "Actual Government." 


nates are provided with seats, the press is given accommo- 
dations, and the galleries are filled with spectators. 

Proceedings are similar to those in a state convention, 
though excitement runs much higher. As candidates are 
nominated, their supporters cheer as lustily as they can. 
A prominent candidate may be sure of a "demonstration" 
lasting from fifteen to thirty minutes. In a Republican 
convention a majority vote is required for nomination, but 
in a Democratic convention a two-thirds vote is required. 
After having nominated a candidate for President, the con- 
vention nominates a candidate for Vice-President, who 
must not be from the same state as the presidential nomi- 
nee. Very often candidates for the vice-presidency are 
nominated to please some minority faction or to carry some 
doubtful state. Men of the highest ability, with a few 
exceptions, have within the last eighty years been loath to 
become candidates for Vice-President. 

The Campaign. — National conventions meet late in 
June or early in July, and a few wrecks later the candidates 
are notified of their nomination. The campaign 
does not open in earnest until about the middle of September, 
and it gets more and more exciting until the election on the 
first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Vast 
sums of money are raised and expended by the committees 
of each party. Some of it goes to circulate campaign 
literature of an argumentative nature and to secure speakers 
of real ability, but much is expended for campaign clubs, 
fireworks, banners, and other such aids to the voter in 
forming an intelligent judgment. 

Presidential Electors. — The members of the Federal 
Convention feared that a direct popular vote for President 


would result in the choice of a demagogue. Congress 
could not be given the duty of electing a President without 
making him dependent upon that body, and so the Elec- 
toral College was decided upon as a happy way out of the 
difficulty. Each state was to choose as many electors as 
it had representatives and senators, and several weeks 
after the election the electors were to meet at their respec- 
tive state capital's and there vote for President and Vice- 
President. No portion of the Constitution was more 
applauded than this, and none has so signally failed to 
meet the expectations of its framers. Electors have 
become mere automatons. They vote as they have been 
instructed, and few voters know or care about the Electoral 

It would be legal for an elector to vote for another than 
his party nominee, but none would do it, as he would be 
looked down upon by all men as one who had betrayed his 

Electors are now chosen on a general ticket in all the 
states, but at the head of the ticket are placed the names 
of the candidates for President and Vice-President, so the 
voter may know for whom he casts his ballot. 

The electors meet in their respective state capitals on 
the second Monday in January, and, after voting, three 
certificates of the results of the ballots are prepared. One 
certificate is filed with the Judge of the United States Dis- 
trict Court, one is forwarded by mail to the President of 
the Senate, and another by messenger to the same person. 
On the second Wednesday of February the ballots are 
opened by the President of the Senate before the members 
of the House and Senate, and the result of the election is 
formally announced. 


Election by the House of Representatives. — Should no 
person receive a majority of the electoral vote, the -Consti- 
tution provides that the House of Representatives shall 
choose a President from the three candidates who received 
the highest number of votes in the Electoral College. The 
House in electing a President votes by states, each state 
being given one vote. Members must be present from 
two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states is 
necessary for an election. 

If the Electoral College does not elect a Vice-President, 
"then from the two highest on the Hst the Senate shall 
choose the Vice-President; a quorum shall consist of two- 
thirds of the whole number of senators, a majority of the 
whole number being necessary to a choice." 

The Twelfth Amendment. — In the election of 1800, 
Jefferson and Burr received the same number of votes. 
It was understood that the voters wished Jefferson to be 
President and Burr to be Vice-President, but as the Con- 
stitution then stood, the election had to be decided by the 
House. Jefferson was elected, but only after a bitter con- 
test in which thirty-six ballots were cast. The result was 
that a Twelfth Amendment was added to the Constitution 
which provided that the electors should ballot separately 
for President and Vice-President, instead of having the 
presidency filled by the man who received the highest vote 
and the vice-presidency by the one who received the next 

The Election of 1824. — The Electoral College in 1824 
failed to give any candidate a majority and again the 
election went to the House. Jackson had received ninety- 


five votes, Adams eighty-four, Crawford forty-one, and 
Clay thirty-seven. Clay being fourth on the list could not 
be a candidate before the House, and by the aid of Clay's 
adherents Adams was elected. 

The Disputed Election of 1876. — The election of 1876 
resulted in jNIr. Tilden, the Democratic nominee, receiving 
v^thout question 184 electoral votes, and Mr. Hayes, the 
Republican candidate, receiving 163 undisputed electoral 
votes. In four states, Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, 
and Louisiana, there were disputed returns. If in any one 
of these states Mr. Tilden could secure one electoral vote 
he would be elected; the Republicans needed the entire 
twenty-two votes of these states in order to elect Mr. 
Hayes. In each of the disputed states two sets of electors 
met on the appointed day, and two certificates were sent 
from each state to Washington, one for Hayes and one for 
Tilden. There was no recognized manner of deciding the 
contest, and at last the whole matter was put by Congress 
in the hands of an "Electoral Commission," composed of 
five senators, five representatives, and five judges of the 
Supreme Court. The Senate, being Republican, elected 
to the Commission three Republicans and two Democrats. 
The Democratic House elected three Democrats and two 
Republicans. The law required two Dv^viocrats and two 
Republicans to be appointed from the S nreme Court, and 
these four were to choose a fifth member . It was under- 
stood that Justice Davis, an independent Eepublican with 
Democratic leanings, would be selected, but he was at this 
juncture elected to the United States Senate by Illinois, and 
the choice fell upon a Republican, Justice Bradley. The 
Commission by a strict party vote, eight to seven, decided 


all contests in favor of the Republican electors, and Mr. 
Hayes was declared elected by a vote of 185 to 184. 

Disputed Elections Act of 1887. — In order to avoid 
another contest like that of 1877, Congress passed an act, 
in 1887, which provides that the President of the Senate, 
in the presence of the two houses of Congress, shall open all 
certificates of the electoral votes in the alphabetical order 
of the states. The President of the Senate shall call for 
objections, and when an objection is made to any certificate 
the houses shall separate and consider the objections. 
No electoral vote from any state may be rejected in case 
but one certificate has been received, unless the houses 
acting separately so decide; state tribunals shall deter- 
mine what electoral votes of the states are legal votes, and 
their decision shall be final; in case two or more tribunals 
send in conflicting returns, that return which the two 
houses concurrently accept shall be counted; when there 
is one state government and two conflicting returns, the 
one which is approved by the executive of the state shall 
be accepted, unless both houses, acting separately, decide 
otherwise; in case the state has appointed no tribunal to 
determine the issue and two returns are received, the two 
houses shall decide which is the lawful vote; if the houses 
fail to agree, the vote of the state is lost. 


1. Describe the method now in use for nominating candidates 
for President of the United States. 

2. Describe the Constitutional method of electing a President, 
and show how it has failed to work in the manner desired by its 



3. What are the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the 
Constitution, and what were the circumstances that gave rise to 
this amendment? 

4. Give an account of the disputed elections of 1824 and 1876. 

5. Describe the manner of choosing the Vice-President in case 
no person has a majority of all ballots cast by the Electoral College. 


1. Give arguments {a) sustaining the present mode of electing a 
President and Vice-President; {h) favoring their election by direct 
vote of the people. 

2. Find, by reference to the Constitution, what persons are pro- 
hibited from being members of the Electoral College, and give 
reasons for their exclusion. 

3. In proportion to population does New York or Rhode Island 
have the greater influence in electing a President ? 

4. Show how a President may be elected by a minority of the 
voters of the United States. 

5. Have national conventions been influenced by the same 
motives in nominating candidates for the vice-presidency as in 
nominating candidates for the presidency ? 

6. Why were the vice-presidents in the first decade of our 
country's history more prominent men than they have been in the 
last half century ? 

References same as in previous chapter. 



The Cabinet. — Nowhere in the Constitution is a Cabinet 
mentioned, but it is implied in Article II, Section 2, which 
gives the President authority to require an "opinion in 
writing of the principal officer in each of the executive 
departments upon any subject relating to the duties of 
their respective offices." 

Executive departments have been created from time to 
time by act of Congress. Washington's Cabinet consisted 
of a Secretary of State, a Secretary of the Treasury, a Secre- 
tary of War, and an Attorney-General. The latter officer 
w^as not head of a separate department until the Depart- 
ment of Justice was created in 1870. 

Other executive departments have been added in the 
following order: 

Navy Department, in 1798. 

Post Office Department, 1829.^ 

Department of the Interior, 1848. 

Department of Agriculture, 1889. 

Department of Commerce and Labor, 1903. 
The heads of these departments act as advisers to the 
President and constitute his Cabinet. The President is 
under no obhgation to consult with his Cabinet and need 
not follow its advice. Meetings of the Cabinet are usu- 
ally held twice a week during the sessions of Congress and 

^ The postal service has existed since colonial times, but was not 
a separate department until 1829. 



at any other time when the President desires. Cabinet 
meetings are behind closed doors, and no record of the 
meetings is preserved. The heads of executive depart- 
ments are appointed by the President ''by and with the 
advice of the Senate," and they may be dismissed at any 
time by the President. No Cabinet member may have 
a seat in Congress. Cabinet members receive a salary of 
$8,000 each, which is hardly adequate to pay their neces- 
sary expenses. 

The English Cabinet. — The President's Cabinet re- 
ceived its name from the EngHsh Cabinet. Like the Presi- 
dent's Cabinet the members of the English Cabinet are 
heads of executive departments. The English Cabinet is 
also unknown to the English Constitution, and no record 
is kept of its meetings. In other respects the two cabinets 
are very different. Members of the English Cabinet are 
nominally appointed by the crown, but actually the king 
must respect the wishes of the majority in the House of 
Commons. When a new Cabinet is required, the king 
sends for the recognized leader of the party which has a 
majority in the House of Commons and asks him to select 
a Cabinet. Cabinet members are chosen by the political 
leader after consultation with prominent members of the 
party, or rather "they have, so to say, chosen themselves 
by a career of steady success in the debates of the houses: 
they have come to the front by their own efforts, .by the 
force of their own ability, and represent, usually, tried 
parliamentary capacity. Such capacity is necessary for 
their success as ministers; for when they have entered the 
Cabinet, they constitute, in effect, a committee of the 
majority of the House of Commons, commissioned to lead 


Parliament in debate and legislation, to keep it — and, 
through it, of course, the country at large — informed 
concerning all important affairs of State which can pru- 
dently be made public, and to carry out in the conduct of 
the government, the policy approved of by the representa- 
tives of the people."^ Members of the English Cabinet 
must be chosen from among the members of Parliament, 
usually the House of Commons, and they retain their 
position as legislators. There is, therefore, a union between 
the legislative and executive departments. A great advan- 
tage in the English system is that heads of executive depart- 
ments, who presumably are well informed concerning 
subjects relating to their departments, may enlighten 
Parliament on legislation affecting their departments. 

Should the ministers of the English Cabinet be defeated 
in Parliament on an important measure, or should a vote 
of censure be passed upon them by the House of Commons, 
they must resign, or, if the defeated Cabinet thinks the 
House of Commons does not reflect the sentiment of the 
voters, they may ask the king to dissolve Parliament and 
order a new election. If the party of the ministry wins in 
the election, the Cabinet remains unchanged, otherwise 
all must resign. This is in effect a "referendum" on 
important political questions. 

The Executive Departments. — Each Cabinet officer is, 
in addition to being an adviser to the President, the head 
of an executive department. He is obliged to submit 
an annual report to the President, which describes the work 
of his department for the year, and may suggest needful 

1 Wilson, "The State," p. 384. 

146 AMERICAN" Civics 

legislation. The head of each department is called a 
secretary, except in the case of the Post Office Depart- 
ment, whose head is the Postmaster- General, and the 
Department of Justice, whose head is the Attorney- General. 
Every department has one or more assistant secretaries. 
The work of the departments is divided into bureaus, and 
bureaus in turn are divided into divisions. At the head 
of each bureau is a commissioner, and there is a chief of 
division in charge of each division. 

The Department of State. — The Secretary of State is 
regarded as holding the most important place in the Cabinet. 
All correspondence with foreign powers is conducted by 
the Secretary of State under the direction of the President. 
He is also the medium of communication between the 
President and the governors of the various states. The 
Secretary of State is custodian of the great seal of the United 
States, which he attaches to all proclamations of the Presi- 
dent, commissions, warrants for pardon, and other official 
papers. The Secretary of State publishes all laws and 
resolutions of Congress, certified copies of which he sends 
to the governors of the states. Passports for American 
citizens who desire to travel abroad, and exequaturs * to 
consuls of foreign countries are issued from his office. The 
office of Secretary of State has been filled by some of the 
most eminent of American statesmen. Among these have 
been Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, 
Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Edward 
Everett, William H. Seward, James G. Blaine, and John 

^ That is, official recognition by the government. 


The Diplomatic Service. — The United States is repre- 
sented by an official at the capitals of foreign nations, and 
in like manner, foreign nations are represented in Wash- 
ington. The United States has four classes of diplomatic 
representatives — ambassadors, envoys extraordinary and 
ministers plenipotentiary, ministers resident, and charges 
d'affaires, who are subordinates temporarily in charge 
of a legation. Until 1893 the United States was not repre- 
sented by officers of the highest rank, but now ambassadors 
are sent to Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, 
Austria, and Mexico. The rank of ambassador was 
created in order that the United States might have repre- 
sentatives whose official dignity would correspond with that 
of representatives of other first class powers. Diplomatic 
officers of a lower grade than ambassadors are sent to the 
less important nations. 

Diplomatic officers are the mediums through which the 
Secretary of State communicates with foreign powers. 
They arc also the official representatives of the United 
States on state occasions, and have general care of the 
interests of the United States in the countries to which they 
are nccreHited. 

The highest annual salary paid ambassadors is $17,500; 
ministers receive from $4,000 to $12,000. These salaries 
are very low as compared with sums paid by the other first 
class powers: the British Ambassador at Washington receives 
an annual salary of $32,500, and the British Ambassador 
at Paris receives a salary of $40,000. Besides their salaries 
most foreign powers of. the first rank furnish their ambas- 
sadors with residences. Members of the diplomatic service 
have so many social duties that orly men of independent 
fortunes can afford to represent the United States. 


Members of the United States diplomatic corps are 
appointed by the President, with approval of the Senate. 
They are usually men who have rendered some service to i 
the party in power, and their tenure of office is seldom 
longer than eight years. No opportunity is afforded for 
men to devote their lives to this service, though foreign 
nations offer such opportunities to their ministers. It has 
sometimes happened that a minister could not speak 
fluently the language of the country to which he was 
accredited, and sometimes he has been unable to speak 
French, the common language of diplomats the world 
over. However, as a rule, American ministers to the 
great powers have been men of marked ability, who have 
been able to represent the United States in a manner 
acceptable to all concerned. 

The Consular Service. — A bureau of the Department 
of State is devoted to the consular service. The United 
States sends consuls to all important commercial cities in 
foreign countries. The consuls have numerous commercial 
duties. They certify invoices, take testimony, look after 
American seamen and travelers, and make reports on 
trade conditions with especial reference to opportunities 
for American trade. In addition to commercial duties, 
some consuls have judicial functions. In Turkey and 
Cliina, where the local courts cannot be trusted, consuls 
act as judges in criminal cases involving two Americans 
or an American and a native. Consuls may also investi- 
gate crimes which occur on American vessels on the high 
seas. There are three principal grades in the consular 
service: consuls-general, consuls, and consular agents. A 
consul-general is located in the capital of the country to 



which he is accredited, and has general charge over all the 
consular offices in the country. 

Consuls are paid salaries ranging from $7,500, paid to 
some consuls-general, to $1,000. In an important city, 
unofficial fees, such as for the acknowledgment of legal 
papers, may add a few hundred dollars to the consul's 
income. Though the salaries are small, there is great 
pohtical pressure exerted for consular appointments. 
Numerous efforts have been made to establish a system 
of appointments and promotions for merit and to increase 
salaries in the consular service, but all such efforts have 
been unavailing up to the present time. 

The Treasury Department. — The Secretary of the 
Treasury is regarded as holding an office second in dignity 
to that of the Secretary of State, but actually his office is 
fully equal in importance. The Secretary of the Treasury 
is obliged to see that the revenues of the United States are 
sufficient to meet its expenses. He submjts annually to 
Congress a budget, or an estimate of receipts and expenses 
for the coming year. Through the budget and his annual 
report, the Secretary of the Treasury may exercise a great 
influence on the financial policy of the nation. Hamilton, 
as Secretary of the Treasury, had a political influence 
second to no statesman whom America has produced. 

The Secretary of 'the Treasury has charge of the adminis- 
tration of all financial affairs of the government. Under his 
direction money is coined and United States notes and 
bonds are printed and issued. National banks are under 
the supervision of an officer of the Treasury Department. 

The War Department. — The Secretary of War is 
seldom a man of military training, but he is the real com- 


mandcr of the army, acting for the President who is Com- 
mander-in-Chief. The various bureaus are in charge of 
officers of the United States Army, who, together with the 
commanding general of the army, constitute the General 
Staff. The General Staff has supervision over the entire 
army, and in time of war is responsible for the planning 
of military campaigns. 

The maximum stren<^th of the armv is fixed bv the act 
of 1901, at 100,000 men, and the minimum at 57,000. 
The actual number of enlisted men is now about 60,000. 
Each state maintains a militia, called the National Guard, 
and Congress aids in the equipment of these troops, which 
answer the purpose of a reserve army. 

The Secretary of War has charge of the Military Academy 
at West Point, which has been maintained since 1802 for 
the training of officers for the army. 

Each Congressional district and each of the territories 
is entitled to one cadet; each state may have two additional 
cadets, and forty are appointed from the country at large. 
Appointments from Congressional districts are made by 
the Congressman or the territorial delegate, state appoint- 
ments are made by the two senators, and appointments 
at large are made by the President. Every applicant for 
admission is required to pass a physical and mental exami- 
nation. After completing the four years' course in the 
Academy, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants 
in the United States Army. 

The Department of War has supervision of the engineer- 
ing work of the government, the improvement of rivers and 
harbors, and must see that no obstructions to navigation 
are permitted. Tlie Secretary of War has charge of all 
national cemeteries. 


The Navy Department. — Until the creation of a Navy 
Department, in 1798, naval affairs were intrusted to the 
War Department. 

The Secretary has charge of the construction, equipment, 
and employment of the navy of the United States. The 
great Naval Observatory at Washington and the Naval 
Academy at Annapolis are under his direction. The 
Naval Academy was established in 1845. Midshipmen 
are appointed in a manner similar to the appointment of 
cadets in the Military Academy, but the number who may 
be appointed is considerably larger. The course extends 
over six years, the last two of which must be in active ser- 
vice at sea. 

The Department of the Interior. — The Interior Depart- 
ment was brought into existence in order to provide for 
certain duties which could not properly be assigned to 
any existing department. Its functions are many and 

The Commissioner of Pensions examines and acts upon 
all applications for pensions and has general charge of all 
pension matters. 

The United States has been more generous in dealing 
with its soldiers and sailors than any other nation in the 
history of the world. There are now on the pension rolls 
about 1,000,000 names, and to these persons an annual 
amount aggregating about $140,000,000 is paid. 

The Commissioner of the General Land Office is in 
charge of all government lands. He supervises surveys of 
public land, and under his direction public land is sold, 
or distributed in accordance with the terms of the Home- 
stead Act, 


The Commissioner of Indian Affairs has charge of the 
education and government of the Indians, with the excep- 
tion of some tribes whom former treaties have left free to 
care for themselves. 

The government no longer treats Indian tribes as inde- 
pendent nations, but regards them as the wards of the 
United States. Indian agents are sent to each reservation, 
and they have charge of all matters at the reservation. 
Cattle, food, clothing, and agricultural implements are 
distributed among the Indians by the Indian agents. 

Schools for the Indians are supported by appropriations 
made by Congress. Though the United States has made 
an honest effort to deal fairly with the Indian question, it 
still remains a difficult problem. In twenty years about 
$45,000,000 have been expended by the government for the 
education of the Indians, but not more than one in six 
is able to read. Doubtless the present Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs is correct in contending that they should be 
taught a trade and encouraged to seek outside opportu- 
nities for work, and not be held in reservations dependent 
upon public alms. In 1901, there were in the United 
States 269,388 Indians, of whom 86,039 were in the Indian 

The Commissioner of Education collects and publishes 
information in regard to schools, methods of instruction, 
discipline, etc. The reports of the Bureau of Education 
have been of great aid to the cause of education. 

The Commissioner of Railroads has charge of the govern- 
ment's interests in certain trans-continental railroads. 
Congress in 1862 and 1864, granted to several railroads 
lands adjoining their right of way and loans of credit in 
the shape of bonds on which the government guaranteed 


six per cent, interest. The lands were given to the roads, 
but the bonds were to be repaid. 

The Commissioner of Patents has charge of the granting 
of patents. The Director of the Geological Survey investi- 
gates the geological structure of various parts of the coun- 
try and issues reports which give the results of his labors. 
His work includes plans for the irrigation and reclaiming 
of waste lands. 

Post Office Department. — The Postmaster- General has 
charge of the United States postal service. There are over 
seventy- five thousand post offices in the United States, and 
the vast majority of the postmasters in charge of these 
offices are appointed by the Postmaster- General. Only 
about 5,000 postmasters, whose salaries are over $1,000 
each, are appointed by the President with the consent of 
the Senate. 

The patronage of the Post Office Department is the 
most important of any of the departments, as many of 
these officials are not under the civil service rules. As a 
consequence, there is a change of postmasters throughout 
the country with every political change, and the service is 
injured thereby. Minor employees of the post office, such 
as mail clerks and carriers, are under Civil Service rules. 
The railway mail clerks are also thus protected. 

The Post Office Department conducts one of the greatest 
business enterprises within the United States. The ex- 
penses of the department are over one hundred and twenty- 
five million dollars a year, of which over twenty million 
is paid in salaries to postmasters, and over sixty-one million 
dollars for transportation of the mails. 

The department is not managed for the sake of making 


money, but for the public advantage. There is an annual 
deficit of two or three million dollars, due chiefly to the 
cheap rates at wliich newspapers and magazines are 
carried. The present rates were adopted in 1883, and will 
be lowered as soon as it can be done without resulting in 
too large a deficit. Free delivery is furnished in all cities 
and large towns, and in 1897 the sum of $40,000 w^as 
expended for a trial of rural free delivery. The experiment 
of rural free delivery was a success, and this has now be- 
come an important part of the service. 

The post office registers valuable letters and packages 
on payment of eight cents in addition to postage, and should 
a package be lost the sender may be reimbursed to an 
amount not exceeding twenty-five dollars. All large 
offices sell money orders, by means of v\^hich money may be 
cheaply and safely sent to domestic or foreign places. 

The United States is a member of the Universal Postal 
Union, which includes all the civilized nations of the world. 
INIembers of tliis Union agree upon a uniform rate for 
foreign postal matter, and extend every facility for carrying 
each other's mail. Much as our Post Office Department 
does, it is less than the service rendered by most European 
post office departments. Postal savings banks, parcels 
post,^ and postal telegraph are common in Europe. 

The Department of Justice. — The Attorney- General has 
always been a member of the Cabinet, but a separate De- 
partment of Justice was not established until 1870. The 
Attorney- General is legal adviser to the President and to 

^ The weight limit in the United States is four pounds for mer- 


the heads of departments. He has charge of cases to wliich 
the United States is a party, and sometimes appears before 
court as the attorney for the United States. Marshals 
and district-attorneys are under his supervision. 

The Department of Agriculture. — The Department of 

Agriculture was organized as a separate department in 
1862, but not until 1889 did the head of the department 
become a cabinet minister. The department investigates 
injurious plants and animals, and endeavors to find the best 
means for their extermination. FertiHzers and soils are 
investigated and the results pubhshed by the department. 
The department has done much to put agriculture on a 
scientific basis. 

The Bureau of Animal Industry inspects herds of cattle, 
and causes those afflicted with contagious diseases to be 
destroyed. A large part of the meat shipped from the 
West to eastern markets is inspected, and most of the 
cattle and meat intended for export is inspected. This 
bureau also investigates diseases of animals, and endeavors 
to find the best methods of treatment. 

The department tests seeds, and distributes a limited 
quantity of "rare and valuable" seeds throughout the 
country for the purpose of improving the quahty of products 
and introducing new varieties. 

The Weather Bureau of the department sends daily 
forecasts to stations throughout the country. The bureau 
is desirous that its forecasts and weather charts should be 
displayed in every village throughout the country, and as 
far as practicable, it will send messages at the expense of 
the bureau to one person in every town, provided that 
person will publish the reports for the benefit of the pub- 


lie. On the Atlantic coast the bureau displays storm 
signals at one hundred and forty-one stations. 

Undoubtedly the Weather Bureau has saved large sums 
to farmers as well as to those interested in shipping. 

The Department of Commerce and Labor. — This is the 
most recently organized department, and to it have been 
assigned duties formerly connected with other departments 
as well as some new executive activities. Lighthouses, 
life-saving stations, and the survey of the coasts, have been 
transferred from the Treasury Department to the Depart- 
ment of Commerce and Labor. Consular reports and many 
statistical documents are now pubHshed under the direc- 
tion of this department. 

The Bureau of Labor, first created in 1884 as a bureau 
under the Interior Department, and four years later made 
a separate department, is now under the Department of 
Commerce and Labor. This bureau collects and pub- 
Hshes information on cost of production, wages, hours of 
labor, strikes and lockouts, and other matters relating to 

The Bureau of Corporations has authority to investigate 
the conduct and management of corporations which are 
engaged in inter-state business. 

A Bureau of Manufactures is designed to aid manufac- 
turing interests by pubHshing matter of value to those 
engaged in manufacturing, and by developing home and 
foreign markets. 

The Census Bureau, formerly under the Department of 
the Interior, has been made a permanent bureau. It 
publishes a census every ten years, which includes informa- 
tion in regard to population, wealth, vital statistics, agri- 


culture, and manufactures. During the time intervening 
between the preparation and publication of the decennial 
census, the bureau publishes bulletins based on the census, 
and collects information on various subjects. The estab- 
lishment of a permanent Census Bureau in 1902 makes it 
possible for the government to be served by skilled spe- 
ciaHsts, and doubdess the census of 19 10 will show the value 
of a permanent Census Bureau. 

Separate Commissions and Boards. — A number of com- 
missioners and boards exercise executive functions inde- 
pendent of the nine executive departments. The commis- 
sions are as follows: Interstate Commerce ■ Commission, 
Fish Commission, and Civil Service Commission. 

Special Boards are in charge of the Congressional 
Library, the National Museum, Bureau of Ethnology, the 
Smithsonian Institute, and the Government Printing 

The Government Printing Office is the largest printing 
establishment in the world. In it all the reports of the 
government are printed. 


1. Name in order of rank the officers who comprise the Presi- 
dent's Cabinet. 

2. Compare the American Cabinet with the English Cabinet. 

3. Describe the Diplomatic Service and the Consular Service of 
the United States. 

4. Give the name of the executive department which has charge 
of (a) patents, {h) transportation of the mails, (c) Indian affairs, 
{d) collection of duties on imports, (e) passports, (/) pensions, (g) 
the census. 



1. Compare the advantages of a cabinet responsible to the 
Chief Executive with the advantages of a cabinet responsible to a 
legislative body. Woodburn, "American Republic," pp. 110-114. 
Bagehot, "English Constitution," Chap. II. Wilson, "Congres- 
sional Government," Chap. V. 

2. Give the names of the present members of the President's 
Cabinet. See newspaper almanacs. 

3. What are the defects of our consular service, and how may 
they be remedied? Hart, "Actual Government," pp. 436-439. 
Curtis, "The United States and Foreign Powers," pp. 30-33. 

4. Describe the "Indian Problem" of the present time. Grin- 
nell, "The Indians of To-day." Hart, "Actual Government," 
pp. 361-364. Numerous valuable magazine articles may be found 
by reference to Poole's Index and the Cumulative Index. 

5. Prepare a list of Presidents who have been Secretaries of 
State. Why is it no longer common for a Secretary of State to 
become President? 


Haft, " Actual Government," Chap. XVI. 

Bryce, " American Commonwealth," I, Chaps. IX, XXV. 

Ford, " American Politics," pp. 383-396. 

Wilson, " The State," pp. 566-570, 378-392. 



Congress. — The legislative branch of the United States 
government consists of a Congress composed of two 
houses, a Senate and a House of Representatives. 

Congress meets every year on the first Monday in Decem- 
l^er, but the life of each Congress extends over two sessions. 
The first session, known as the long session, often lasts until 
midsummer, but must not last beyond the first Monday in 
December; the short session lasts from December until the 
fourth of March, at which time the terms of all representa- 
tives and one-third of the senators expire. Long sessions 
end in even years, and short sessions in odd years. The 
President may call an extra session of Congress whenever 
in his judgment the public welfare requires it. 

The Senate. — The Senate is called the "upper house" 
of Congress. Each state may be represented by two 
senators chosen by the state legislatures for a term of six 
years. The plan of having senators elected by the state 
legislatures was favored in the Federal Convention, both 
because it would give the state a voice in the national 
government, and because it was thought that indirect elec- 
tion would result in the choice of men of wealth and social 
standing, who would serve as a check upon the more demo- 
cratic house. The Senate was designed to be a conserva- 
tive body. An examination of bills passed by the respec- 
tive houses during the last thirty years shows the Senate 
to have become more radical than the House. 



In order to make the Senate a permanent body, and put 
it more closely in touch with the people, it was provided 
that one- third of the senators should retire at the end of 
each term of Congress. This was effected by dividing the 
senators into three classes after the first election: the 
members of the first class were to retire after two years; 
those of the second class after four years; those of the third 
class were to serve the full term of six years. At subse- 
quent elections, senators were elected for a six years' 
term. When new states enter the Union their senators 
are so assigned as to continue this plan. Senators from 
the same state always retire from office at different 

Should a senator resign or die while in ofiice, the governor 
of the state may appoint a successor to serve during the 
unexpired term, unless the state legislature is in session. 

Qualifications of Senators. — The Constitution provides 
that in order to be eligible to a seat in the Senate, a person 
must be at least thirty years of age, must have been for 
nine years a citizen of the United States, and must, at the 
time of his election, be an inhabitant of that state for which 
he is chosen. No person holding any other office under 
the United States may be a member of either house. 

Election of Senators. — According to the Constitution, 
*'the times, places, and manner of holding election for 
senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each 
state by the legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any 
time make or alter such regulations, except as to the places 
of choosing senators." Congress did not make any such 
regulation until 1866, when an act was passed which 


provided that each state legislature which is chosen next 
preceding the expiration of the term of either of the state's 
senators, shall have a session for the purpose of electing 
a senator on the second Tuesday after assembling. The 
following method of election is prescribed by the act: each 
house shall vote separately by open ballot {viva voce)^ 
and he who receives the majority vote of that house shall 
be so recorded upon the journal of that house; the two 
houses are to meet on the following day at 12 M. in joint 
session, and if the same person has received a majority of 
votes in each house, he is declared elected; in case no one 
has a majority vote in each house, the joint assembly 
votes {viva voce), and if any one receives a majority vote he 
is declared elected; should no person be elected on the 
first day, the two houses meet in joint session each day, 
and take at least one vote until a senator is elected or the 
legislature adjourns. Elections of senators have fre- 
quently been turbulent, and sometimes legislatures have 
failed to choose a senator. 

It has often been charged that unfit men have been elected 
senators and that bribery has been very common. A con- 
siderable sentiment has been created in favor of the election 
of senators by popular vote, and a majority of the state 
legislatures have at one time or another passed resolutions 
in favor of the change. Twice a resolution in favor of a 
Constitutional Amendment to effect this change has passed 
the House, but it was defeated both times in the Senate. 
The effect of popular election of senators has sometimes 
been secured by making the election of a senator an issue 
before the people in choosing members of the state legis- 
lature. A famous example of this is afforded by the 
Douglas-Lincoln canvass of 1858. 


The House of Representatives. — The House of Repre- 
sentatives represents the nation just as the Senate represents 
the states. Members of the House are chosen by direct 
vote for a term of two years. Each state is assigned a 
number of representatives proportional to its population, 
though each state must have at least one representative. 
At the time of the Federal Convention, some states required 
higher qualifications of electors for the higher than for the 
lower house of their state legislatures, and in order to 
secure a really popular election for representatives the 
Constitution provided that "the electors of each state shall 
have the qualifications required for electors of the most 
numerous branch of the state legislature." The qualifica- 
tions for electors are thus left to the states, with the excep- 
tion that no state may deny the right of suffrage on account 
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. The 
Fourteenth Amendment also provides that if the right to 
vote for presidential electors or representatives is denied, 
except for rebellion or crime, to any male inhabitants, who 
are citizens of the United States, the basis of representa- 
tion in that state shall be reduced "in the proportion which 
the number of such male citizens shall bear to the 
whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age 
in such state." 

Qualifications for Representatives. — In order to be eligi- 
ble to membership in the House of Representatives, a man 
must be at least twenty- five years of age, and must have 
been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, 
and must, at the time of his election, be a citizen of the 
state from which he is chosen. No person holding any 
other office under the United States may be a member of 
the House. 


It is customary to require that representatives shall be 
inhabitants of the district from which they are elected, but 
there have been numerous exceptions to this rule. 

The House, like the Senate, may exclude. from member- 
ship persons whom it deems morally unfit to have s^ats in 
that body. 

Apportionment of Representatives. — The number of 
representatives to which each state is entitled depends 
upon its population as determined by the United States 

Congress decides upon some unit of representation, and 
the states are assigned representatives for each unit of 
representation that their population contains, and also a 
representative for a fraction of a unit if over one-half. At 
present the unit of representation is 194,182, and the House 
has 386 members. States with a population of less than 
194,182 have one representative. 

Congressional Districts. — Prior to 1840 some states 
elected members of the House by districts and some from 
the state at large, but in that year Congress passed a law 
requiring that states should be divided into districts for 
the purpose of electing members of the House, except that 
if on account of additional population the state has been 
assigned new representatives, they may be elected at large 
until the state is redistricted. The division of states into 
districts is done by the state legislatures, subject to the 
restriction that districts must be composed of contiguous 
territory, and must contain as nearly as practicable an 
equal number of inhabitants. In redistricting states, the 
legislatures have frequently resorted to gerrymandering. 


Privileges and Remunerations of Members of Congress. — 
Members of Congress are exempt from arrest in all civil 
cases and in most criminal cases during a session of Congress 
and while on their way to and from a session. No member 
may be prosecuted for libel or slander on account of words 
spoken in debate. Members are privileged to send their 
letters through the mails without paying postage, but this 
franking privilege is supposed to apply only to official 
letters. Each member of Congress receives an annual 
salary of $5,000 and mileage at the rate of twenty cents a 
mile for the round trip, an amount far in excess of the 
actual traveling expenses; to those members who accept 
railroad passes, it is almost a clear gain. Members are 
also allowed $125 for stationery. The Speaker of the 
House receives a salary of $8,000 a year, being the same 
amount as that received by the Vice-President and Cabinet 


Organization of the Senate. — The Vice-President of the 
United States presides in the Senate, and on the first day 
of a new Congress administers the oath of office to newly 
elected senators. The Vice-President has little political 
power, and his activity is confined to presiding and casting 
a deciding vote in case of a tie. There are between fifty 
and sixty committees of the Senate, the exact number 
differing from time to time. Among the most important 
committees are those on Foreign Relations, Privilege and 
Elections, Judiciary, Commerce, Finance, and Appropri- 
ations. The members of committees are elected by ballot, 
party caucuses having in advance determined the choice 


of each party. Committees are always composed of odd 
numbers, the majority being from the dominant party. 

The Constitution gives each house the power to "deter- 
mine the rules of its procedure." The rules of the Senate 
are simple and not often changed. They cover the intro- 
duction of bills, order of business, rules of debate, and the 
preserving of order. 

Debate in the Senate is much less restricted than in the 
House and the proceedings are much more dignified. 

The Organization of the House of Representatives. — 

On the meeting of a new Congress, the Clerk of the previous 
House calls the House to order and calls the roll of those 
having certificates of election. After the oath of office has 
been administered to new members, the House proceeds to 
elect its Speaker and other officers. The election is gen- 
erally only a form as party caucuses have previously 
settled the matter. 

The Speaker of the House. — The Speaker of the House 
is the most important officer of the House, and has more 
power than any other legislative officer of the United 
States. The name comes from the Speaker of the House 
of Commons, but his office is much different. The Eng- 
lish Speaker is supposed to exhibit no party preferences, 
but the American Speaker is the leader of his party. All 
committees of the House are appointed by the Speaker. 
This alone gives him vast political power, though his power 
of appointment is not absolute as members of experience 
and reputation are assured of positions, and frequently the 
Speaker promises his party in advance in regard to the 
composition of some committees. 


There are usually about fifty-five House committees of 
wliich the most important is that on Ways and Means, 
whose duty is to consider all matters relating to customs, 
duties, and taxes. 

Other important committees are those on Elections, 
Appropriations, Rules, Foreign Affairs, Manufactures, 
Commerce, and Labor. The minority party is given 
representation on all committees. 

The Speaker also exercises much political power through 
his right of recognition. No one may address the House 
without being recognized by the Speaker. No doubt it 
was originally intended, as it was for many years the prac- 
tice, for the Speaker to recognize the member v/ho first 
addressed him, but it has come about that the Speaker 
uses this power for political purposes and recognizes such 
persons as he wishes. 

When a member rises for recognition the Speaker may 
ask "For what purpose?" and may recognize him if the 
purpose be satisfactory. The power of the Speaker is not, 
however, absolute, being Hmited by the rules of the House, 
the practice of previous speakers, and parHamentary 
usage, as well as by the Constitution of the United States. 
The Speaker is ex-ofhcio chairman of the Committee on 
Rules, one of the most important of the House committees. 

Criticism of the Committee System. — Every bill pre- 
sented in either house of Congress is referred to an appro- 
priate committee. The power of the committee over bills 
which have been referred to it is very great. 

A committee may alter a bill so that it bears little resem- 
blance to the original bill; it may refuse to report a bill; or 
it may report it so late in the session as to practically pre- 
vent action. Most bills "die in committee." 


Mr. Bryce and other critics have found many faults in 
the American committee system: 

1. It destroys the imity of the House, since the practical 
work of legislation is in committee. 

2. It prevents the capacity of the ablest members from 
being brought to bear upon any one piece of legislation. 
With the exception of the most important committees, the 
majority of each committee is composed of men of only 
ordinary ability. 

3. It cramps debate. 

4. It gi^'es facilities for the exercise of underhand and 
even corrupt influences. In a committee the voice of each 
member is important and one may be corruptly influenced 
without much danger of exposure. 

5. It reduces responsibility. ''In England if a bad act 
is passed or a good bill rejected, the blame falls primarily 
upon the ministry in power whose command of the major- 
ity would have enabled them to defeat it, next upon the 
party which supported the ministry; then upon the individ- 
ual members who are officially recorded to have * backed ' 
it and voted for it in the House. . . . But in the United 
States the ministry cannot be blamed for the Cabinet 
officers do not sit in Congress; the House cannot be blamed, 
because it has only followed the decision of its committee; 
the committee may be an obscure body, whose members 
may be too insignificant to be worth blaming." ^ 

The merits of the committee system are equally conspic- 
uous and have not failed to attract the attention of Mr. 
Bryce. The chief advantages are as follows : 

I. It enables Congress to deal with more measures. 
Worthless bills are easily killed in committee, and an 
^ Bryce, ''American Commonwealth," Vol. I, p. 161. 


immense saving of time results. Congress could not con- 
sider one-tenth of the bills presented. 

2. The committee system permits evidence to be taken. 
Committees frequently permit friends and enemies of a 
bill to present arguments. 

3. It permits Congress to investigate the conduct of 
the executive departments. The conduct of any executive 
department may be investigated by a committee. 

4. It gives members work to do. Every member of 
Congress is appointed on one or more committees. Men 
of keen business ability may make their influence felt in 
committee, though they may possess no qualifications for 
speaking in a large assembly. 

5. It offers a needed means of cooperation between 
executive and legislative departments. 

Heads of departments may appear for that purpose before 

Committee of the Whole. — One committee, much 
employed in the House, is the ''Committee of the Whole." 
This is really a method whereby greater freedom of debate 
is permitted in the House. When the House goes into 
Committee of the W^hole, the Speaker leaves the chair, 
after having appointed some other member to preside. 

The presiding officer of the Committee of the Whole 
cannot compel any member to attend nor can he maintain 
order by force. Great freedom of debate is permitted in 
Committee of the Whole, and some of the most notable 
speeches have been delivered when the House has been 
thus organized. When the Committee has finished its 
business it rises and reports to the House, which may act 
on the report of the Committee of the Whole as it sees 
fit. The rules of the House require that bills relating to 


the levying of taxes and the appropriation of money must 
be considered in Committee of the Whole. 

The Making of a Law. — A proposed law is known as a 
bill. Bills may be introduced in either house, except that 
revenue bills must be introduced in the House of Repre- 
sentatives. The introduction of a bill is a very simple 
matter; the bill is simply placed upon the desk of the 
presiding officer or Clerk, and after being read by title is 
referred to an appropriate committee. Should the bill be 
reported by the committee, it is read a second time and 
placed upon the "calendar." Tliis does not guarantee 
that the bill will ever be acted upon, as bills are not taken 
from the calendar in order. 

When a bill is taken from the calendar it is read a third 
time and may be debated. In the House there is ordinarily 
little chance for debate as the Speaker usually recognizes 
only those who have previously obtained his consent, or 
the consent of the chairman of the committee which re- 
ported the bill, and debate may be closed at any time by 
having a member of the majority move the "previous 
question," which, if carried, compels an immediate vote. 

In the Senate debate is more encouraged. The Vice- 
President exercises no such authority as the Speaker, and 
debate is not so limited by the rules. In taking a vote, the 
usual method is for the presiding officer to call for those in 
favor to say "Aye" and then for those opposed to say 
"No." The decision is given in favor of the side that has 
apparently the largest number of supporters. If the vote 
be in doubt, or a member requests it, a rising vote is taken. 
When the decision is still doubtful, or if demanded by one- 
fifth of a quorum, the Clerk calls the list of members, and 


the vote of each is recorded. In the last manner of voting 
"pairs" are permitted, which means that members who 
enter into such an agreement shall be recorded as voting 
upon opposite sides whether present or not. A bill having 
passed one house, receives the signature of the presiding 
officer and is sent to the other house. Here it goes through 
the sanfe process again. The second house may pass, 
amend, or reject a bill. In case a bill is amended it must 
again pass the house in which it originated. Should the 
amendment not be satisfactory, the two houses appoint 
a joint conference committee, wdiich endeavors to arrive at 
a compromise. A bill having passed both houses, is sent 
to the President with the signatures of the presiding oflicers 
of both houses attached. Should the President approve 
the bill it becomes a law to take effect as provided. A bill 
disapproved by the President becomes a law if repassed 
by a two-thirds vote of Senate and House. 

Filibustering. — In order to prevent legislation on some 
matter of great importance, the minority may resort to 
obstructive tactics, commonly called "filibustering." By 
calling for the ayes and noes, by making motions to ad- 
journ, by points of order, by amendments, etc., it has 
sometimes been possible to prevent action or to weary the 
majority until it will accept a compromise. In the Plouse, 
the Speaker, by refusing to recognize a member or by 
refusing to entertain a motion w^hich he considers to have 
been made merely for the purpose of delaying action, 
may discourage filibustering. Prolonged debate is cut 
off in the House by moving the previous question. In the 
Fifty-First Congress, the minority attempted to delay action 
by refusing to vote when the roll was called, and less than a 


quorum having voted, the point of order would be raised 
that there was "no quorum." 

Speaker Reed resorted to "counting a quorum," by 
ordering the Clerk to count as present those members who 
were in their seats, but had not voted. Tliis precedent 
has since been followed. 

In the Senate, filibustering is possible by means of long 
speeches. On the Federal Elections Bill of 1 890-1 891, 
twenty-five long speeches were delivered by members of 
the minority party and they announced their ability and 
intention to talk indefinitely. The majority of the Senate 
usually wins in the end by all-night sessions, the members 
relieving one another in attendance. 

Congressional Publications. — All speeches delivered in 
Congress are published in full in the Congressional Record, 
a paper published daily during sessions of Congress. 
Oftentimes the Congressional Record contains a long 
speech which was actually never delivered, the member 
having made a few remarks and obtained leave to print 
the entire speech. Reprints from the Congressional Record 
may be obtained by members and are extensively circu- 
lated among their constituents. A bi-weekly Journal gives 
a summary of all bills introduced and all votes. 


1. Explain why the Constitution provides that the term of a 
member of the House of Representatives shall be shorter than the 
term of a senator. 

2. One-third of the members of the Senate are chosen once in 
two years. Give reasons for the gradual change in membership. 

3. Mention two respects in which the government of the United 
States and that of Great Britain agree. 


4. How does the organization of the Senate differ from that of 
the House of Representatives. 

5. Show the importance of the office of Speaker of the House. 

6. Criticise the committee system of Congress. 

7. Show briefly how a United States law is made. 


1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Congress 
composed of two houses? 

2. It is a custom that Representatives should reside in the dis- 
tricts which they represent. Show the advantages and disadvan- 
tages of this custom and compare with the English practice. Bryce, 
" American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chap. XIX. 

3. Should Senators be elected by popular vote? Bryce, "Ameri- 
can Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chap. XL 

4. Name six of the most famous senators and representatives 
of the current Congress and tell for what each one is noted. 

5. Does the individual voter of New York exercise as great an 
influence on Congress as the voter of Mississippi? 


Hart, " Actual Government," Chaps. XIII, XIV. 

Hart, '' Practical Essays," No. IX. 

Woodburn, " American Republic," Chaps. IV, V. 

Bryce, " American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chaps. X-XXII. 

Wilson, " Congressional Government." 

Wilson, '' The State," pp. 546-555- 

Follet, '' The Speaker of the House," Chaps. IV-IX. 

McConachie, " Congressional Committees." 

Ford, " The Rise and Growth of American Politics," Chap. XX, 


Powers Granted to Congress. — The Constitution of the 
United States enumerates the powers which are granted to 
Congress, those which are denied Congress, those denied 
the states, and those which are denied both Congress and 
the states. The Tenth Amendment declares "that powers 
not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor 
prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states 
respectively, or to the people." Certain powers, such as 
the power of taxation, may be exercised by both states and 
nation. Such powers are kno^vn as concurrent powers. 
In case of conflict of authority, the Supreme Court has held 
that the state government must yield to the nation. The 
following powers are specifically granted ^ to Congress : 

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imports, and excises, 
to pay the debts and provide for the common defense 
and general welfare of the United States, but all duties, 
imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the 
United States. 

2. To borrow money. 

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, among 
the several states, and with Indian tribes. 

4. To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and 
uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout 
the United States. 

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof and of 
foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures. 

* Const. Art. I, Sec. 8. 


6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the 
securities and current coin of the United States. 

7. To estabhsh post offices and post roads. 

8. To promote the progress of science and the useful 
arts by securing for Hmited times to authors and inventors 
the exclusive right to their respective writings and inven- 
tions. . 

9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme 

10. To define and punish piracies and felonies com- 
mitted on the high seas and offenses against the law of 

11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and re- 
prisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and 

12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation 
of money to that use shall be made for a longer period 
than two years. 

13. To provide and maintain a navy. 

14. To make rules for the government and regulation of 
the land and naval forces. 

15. To provide for calling forth the mihtia to execute 
the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel 

16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplin- 
ing the mihtia, and for governing such part of them as may 
be employed in the service of the United States. 

17. To govern the District of Columbia. 

18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and 
proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, 
and all other powers vested by the Constitution in the 
government of the United States. 


Limitations upon the Authority of Congress/ — The Con- 
stitution limits the authority of Congress as follows: 

1. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not 
be suspended except when in cases of rebellion or invasion 
the public safety may require. 

2. Direct taxes must not be laid unless in proportion to 
the population of the states. 

3. No preference shall be given to the ports of one 
state over the ports of another. 

4. No taxes shall be levied on exports. 

5. The first eight amendments, known as the Bill of 
Rights, prohibit Congress from interfering with certain civil 
and personal rights of citizens. 

Limitations upon the Powers of Congress and of the 
States.^ — Neither Congress nor the state authorities may 
pass l)ills of attainder or ex post facto laws or grant titles 
of nobility. Nor may slavery legally exist within the United 
States or any place subject to its jurisdiction. 

Exclusive Powers of Each House of Congress. — The 
House of Representatives is granted the following exclusive 
powers : 

1. To initiate revenue bills. 

2. To present articles of impeachment. 

3. To elect a President in case the Electoral College 
is unable to elect. 

The Senate has the following exclusive powers: 
I. To approve or reject the President's nomination of 
men for certain Federal offices. 

^ Const. Art. I, Sec. 9. 
^ Const. Art. I, Sec. 9, 10. 


2. To approve or reject treaties with foreign powers. 
For the approval of a treaty a two-thirds vote is required. 

In acting on the President's nominations for office and 
on treaties, the Senate sits in executive, or secret, session, 
a survival of the early days of the Republic w^hen all Senate 
sessions were secret. 

3. The Senate has exclusive power to try impeachments 
of the President, \'ice-President, and civil (not military 
or naval) officers of the United States. This judicial 
function is similar to that exercised by the English House 
of Lords. 

After articles of impeachment have been presented by 
the House of Representatives, the Senate resolves itself 
into a court, over which the Vice-President, or the President 
pro tern of the Senate, presides except when the President 
of the United States is on trial, in which case the Chief- 
Justice of the United States presides. 

All the procedure of a regular court is employed, and the 
accused is given every chance to present his side of the 
case, both personally and by attorney. A two-thirds vote 
is required for con\^ction. Should the impeachment 
succeed, it effects the removal of the defendant from office 
and disqualifies him from holding any office in the gift of 
the United States. There have been only eight impeach- 
ment trials before the Senate and only two of the eight 
have resulted in con\ictions. Judge Pickering, a Federal 
District Judge of New Hampshire, was couA'icted in 1803 
on the charge of making decisions contrary to law and of 
drunkenness and profanity on the bench. Judge Hum- 
phries, a Federal District Judge of Tennessee, was im- 
peached in 1862 for accepting a judicial office under the 
Confederate government, and was convicted. 


The most famous impeachment trial was that of Presi- 
dent Johnson in 1868. The President was accused of 
violating certain Reconstruction Acts of Congress. The 
impeachment fortunately failed by one vote. 


1. Enumerate the powers granted exclusively to Congress. 

2. What powers are denied Congress? 

3. What powers are denied both Congress and the states? 

4. State the exclusive powers which are given respectively to the 
Senate and the House of Representatives. 

5. Describe the method followed in impeachment trials. 


1. What advantage is there in the requirement that all revenue 
bills shall originate in the House of Representatives? 

2. Under what Constitutional authority might Congress vote to 
acquire and operate a railroad? 

3. Why does the Constitution permit the Senate to sit in execu- 
tive session? 

4. Would it be an improvement to permit the passage of mea- 
suies over the veto of a President by a simple majority vote of 
both houses? 

5. Was it a misfortune that President Johnson escaped convic- 
tion in the impeachment trial ? What effect might his conviction 
have had on the office of President ? 



Commercial Powers of Congress. — Congress is granted 
authority "to regulate commerce with foreign nations and 
among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." ^ 
Tliis authority is limited by two clauses^ of the Constitu- 
tion, one of which prohibits any taxation upon exports 
from any state, and the other provides that rates of taxation 
shall be uniform throughout the United States. Under 
the authority conferred by the Constitution, Congress 
has aided commerce by the erection and maintenance 
of lighthouses, life saving stations, improving rivers and 
harbors, and in many other similar ways. 

Commercial Treaties. — Commercial treaties are made 
by Congress for the purpose of aiding the foreign commerce 
of the United States. Such treaties exist between the 
United States and all the commercial powers. Treaties 
of reciprocity have been especially prominent of recent 
years. By the terms of such a treaty, the United States 
permits certain commodities to be imported free of customs 
duty, or at a low rate, from a country which grants similar 
privileges to imports from the United States. The failure 
of the Senate to ratify recent reciprocity treaties will 
doubtless only temporarily hinder the wide application of 
this principle. 

^ Art. I, Sec. 8, CI. 3. 

2 Art. T, Sec. 9, CI. 5. Art. I, Sec. 9, CI. 6. 



The Panama Canal. — In accordance with the terms of 
a treaty between the United States and the RepubHc of 
Panama, exchanged February 26, 1904, the RepubHc of 
Panama granted to the United States the possession and 
control of a strip of land five miles wide on each side of 
the proposed canal. The United States paid the old 
Panama Canal Company $40,000,000, and paid $10,000,000 
to Panama, in addition to which the United States is to 
pay Panama $250,000 annually, beginning nine years after 
the date of ratification of the treaty. The War Depart- 
ment, through the Panama Canal Commission, is charged 
with the supervision and construction of the canal and the 
government of the canal strip. By the terms of the treaty, 
the United States guarantees the independence of Panama, 
and guarantees the neutrality of the canal. Work is now 
being prosecuted on the canal, which promises to be the 
greatest aid to international commerce since the completion 
of the Suez Canal, and only second in importance to the 
transcontinental railroads in reference to American com- 

American Shipping. — In a number of ways Congress 
has sought to encourage American shipping. By an act 
of 1793, which is still in force, foreign vessels are proliibited 
from engaging in the coasting trade of the United States, 
and the dependencies of the United States, by a recent 
decision of the Supreme Court, are included in this pro- 
hibition. American ships are also favored by discriminat- 
ing tonnage duties; foreign vessels are obliged to pay twice 
as heavy tonnage charges as American ships. In addition 
to these favors. Congress has passed an act to the effect 
that duties paid on ship-building material may be remitted 


if ships are used in the foreign, or Atlantic and Pacific, 
trade of the United States. 

In order to secure the above advantages, as well as the 
protection of the United States in any part of the world, 
vessels must be registered in the United States, and in order 
to obtain American registry, a vessel must be built within 
the United States, and must belong w^holly to a citizen 
or citizens of the United States, and the higher officers 
of the ship must not be subjects of any foreign state.* 

The total tonnage of American vessels in 1800 amounted 
to 971,830 tons, two-thirds of which was engaged in foreign 
commerce. In i860, the total tonnage of American ship- 
ping amounted to 5,821,642 tons, of which almost one-half 
was engaged in the foreign trade; but in 1903, though the 
total tonnage had increased to 7,990,043, the portion 
engaged in foreign trade was only 888,776 tons." 

Less than one-tenth of our imports and exports are now 
carried in American ships. The chief reason for the decline 
of our foreign shipping has been because of the change 
from wooden ships, which could be built more cheaply 
in the United States than elsewhere in the world, to ships 
of iron and steel, which can be built in foreign ship-yards 
cheaper than in American yards. Tw^o remedies are pro- 
posed in order to restore American shipping engaged in 
foreign trade. The first one is to abolish the restriction 
against foreign built ships receiving American registration, 
and to abolish the tariff on ship building materials. The 
other plan is to grant subsidies to American ships engaged 
in foreign trade. 

^ In 1892 a special act of Congress authorized the American 
registration of the ** New York " and " Paris," two foreign-built 


Interstate Commerce. — Tne states have control over 
commerce which originates and ends within the boun- 
daries of the respective states, but Congress has control 
over commerce extending beyond the limits of the state 
in wliich it originates. 

Congress has control over rivers which serve as high- 
ways for commerce between two states or with a foreign 
country. A river on the boundary betAveen the United 
States and a foreign country is regarded as belonging to 
the United States from American soil to the middle of the 

Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the chief aid 
which Congress gave to interstate commerce was by im- 
proving rivers and harbors, and by aiding the construction 
of wagon roads and canals. From i85c^i87o the United 
States granted millions of dollars and millions of acres of 
land in order to aid railroad construction in the West and 

Railroad Consolidation and Resulting Problems. — The 

earliest railroads were local affairs, but between 1850 and 
i860 short lines began to be consolidated. Their consoli- 
dation was not only beneficial on account of the economy 
in operating expenses, but was an undoubted benefit to 
travelers and shippers of goods. Competition became so 
fierce as to result in "railroad wars," during which rates 
were often below the cost of rendering the service. Soon 
railroad managers saw the folly of such competition and 
entered into pooling agreements whereby rates were fixed 
and profits divided between the roads. Discrimination 
between individuals and places was also common. The 
former discrimination consisted in making lower rates to 


one individual than to another, or by giving to one individ- 
ual superior facilities. Discrimination between places con- 
sisted very commonly in giving lower rates to one city than 
those charged to another place similarly situated. In 
order to remedy these, and other railroad abuses, Congress 
passed the Interstate Commerce Act, in 1887. 

The Interstate Commerce Commission and its Powers. — 
The Interstate Commerce Commission consists of five 
members appointed by the President with the consent of 
the Senate. The Commission may receive complaints and 
summon witnesses, and may render decisions relating to 
rates and other matters placed under its superWsion by 
the Interstate Commerce Law. In order to enforce the 
decisions of the Commission the ordinary courts of law 
must howxver be invoked, and this has greatly injured the 
effectiveness of the Commission. The Commission, as has 
been said, has supervision over the Interstate Commerce 
Law, which, among other provisions, prohibits pooling 
agreements, makes discrimination unlawful against per- 
sons or places, and pro\ides that rates shall be uniform, 
and must be published and posted so that they may be 
freely consulted. Railroad abuses have been much les- 
sened since the enactment of the law, but the Commission 
has justly complained that its powers are not sufficient to 
properly enforce the law\^ 

Anti-Trust Laws. — Trusts are organized for the sake 
of doing away with competition and increasing profits. 
A trust may be formed by competing companies placing 
their stock in the hands of trustees who shall mxanage the 

^ Seventh Report Interstate Commerce Commission, p. 6. 


business of the various corporations. Such combinations 
are declared illegal by the laws of various states, and by 
the Sherman Anti-Trust Law passed by Congress in 1890. 
This act of 1890, has been held by the courts to apply 
exclusively to commerce and not to manufactures. The 
anti- trust laws have not had much influence. The form 
of trusts has been changed; in some cases one corporation 
has bought out the other parties to a trust, and in other 
cases two or more corporations, each owned by the same 
persons, have succeeded to the trust. 

An act of 1903 empowers the Commissioner of Corpora- 
tions of the Department of Commerce and Labor, to investi- 
gate the organization, conduct, and management of any 
corporation engaged in interstate business not subject to 
the Interstate Commerce Commission, and directs him to 
furnish the information so obtained to the President, after 
which the information, or as much of it as the Presi- 
dent may direct, shall be made public. The Commissioner 
may be directed by Congress or the President to begin an 


1. In what ways has Congress directly aided commerce. 

2. What advantages would resuh to the United States from the 
opening of the Panama Canal? 

3. What has been the cause of the decline in American shipping 
engaged in foreign commerce ? 

4. Why was the Interstate Commerce Commission created? 
What are its powers? 

5. Describe the duties of the Commissioner of Corporations. 


I. What will be the effect of the opening of the Panama Canal 
upon the railroads of the United States? 


2. What effect will the opening of the Panama Canal have 
upon the foreign commerce of New York and San Francisco? 

3. Should that part of the merchant marine of the United States 
which is engaged in foreign commerce be aided by subsidies? 

4. Should Congress give the Interstate Commerce Commission 
authority to fix railroad rates? 

5. Should the United States own and operate the railroads? 

6. Are the "trusts" an injury to commerce? 

7. What clause of the Constitution gives Congress the right to 
construct the Panama Canal? 


On the Isthmian Canal: Curtis, "The United States and Foreign 
Powers," 107-118; Hart, "Foundations of American Foreign Policy," 
36, 235, 238, 76-77, 221, 237; Schierbrand, ''America, Asia, and 
the Pacific" ; "Construction of Canal," Outlook, 78, 230-235. 

On the Merchant Marine and Subsidies: Hadley, "Economics," 
442-443; Bates, "An American Marine"; Outlook, 6y, 98-9; Out- 
look, 67, 336-8; North American Review, 172, 113-121, 285-290; 
Bibliography in List of Books on Marine Subsidies, published by 
Library of Congress. 

On the Interstate Commerce Commission: Snyder, "Interstate 
Commerce Act and Anti-trust Laws"; " Reports of Interstate Com- 
merce Commission"; Forum, t,t„ 143-150; North American Review, 

174, 46-58- 

On Trusts and Monopolies: Ely, "Monopolies and Trusts"; 
Ely, "Problems of To-day"; Von Halle," Trusts"; Jenks, " The 
Trust Problem." 




Public Finance. — Public finance deals with the revenues 
and expenses of a government. Public finance differs in 
several particulars from private finance. One of the most 
apparent differences is that public income should be deter- 
mined by public expenditures, while the reverse is true in 
private finance. A surplus at the end of the year is a most 
desirable thing for a private person, but it is not so desir- 
able for a city or state, as it generally means that more 
has been taken from the pockets of the people than was 
necessary, and a surplus is moreover an invitation for 
reckless expenditures. An estimate of the probable 
revenues and expenditures of a government is prepared in 
advance of the fiscal term by the appropriate financial officers 
for presentation to the legislative body that must pass on 
the matter. This estimate is called a budget. 

Public Expenditures. — National and local expendi- 
tures have steadily increased during the last half century, 
but state expenses are now relatively less important than 
they were a half century ago. Each one of the largest 
cities of the United States has a larger budget than the 
state in which it is located, and national expenditures have 
increased many times in the last few decades. This 
increase is due both to increased wealth and the additional 
functions that national and local governments have as- 
sumed, while the decline in state expenses has been caused 



by the substitution of private railroads for state canals and 
other state internal improvements. 

Public Revenues. — Public revenues are obtained from 
a variety of sources. Public industries and revenues from 
domains serve as an important source of revenue to many 
European states and cities. Among the most lucrative 
domains have been forests, mines, and agricultural lands. 
Public industries such as water works, lighting plants, 
postal service, telegraph service, street railroads, and 
steam railroads often bring a substantial revenue to the 
government. Special assessments are often levied upon 
land adjoining a projected improvement, for the purpose 
of paying part or all of the expenses of opening new 
streets, putting in sewers, constructing parks, or for 
such other purpose as will raise the value of land in the 
immediate neighborhood. For extraordinary purposes, 
or for anticipating the receipt of taxes, public loans 
are extensively resorted to by national, state, and local 

However, taxation is by far the most important source 
of revenue. A tax may be defined as a compulsory pay- 
ment to the government for general public purposes. 

Direct and Indirect Taxation. — A direct tax is one 
which is levied upon the person who must finally pay it; 
an indirect tax is collected from the possessor of the article 
taxed, but may be shifted by raising the price of the article 
and thus forcing the burden upon the final consumer. 
Income taxes, poll taxes, inheritance taxes, and taxes on 
land are examples of direct taxes; customs duties, excise 
taxes, and the like, are examples of indirect taxes. 


Direct taxation has certain advantages over indirect 
taxation. Indirect taxation does not place the burden 
of a tax upon the people in proportion to their ability to 
pay. A tax on sugar or coffee is really a greater burden 
upon the poor than upon the rich, as such commodities are 
not purchased by consumers in proportion to their wealth. 
There is, moreover, a political objection to indirect taxa- 
tion'. It is a well-known fact that when people feel the 
weight of taxation, they are much more inclined to watch 
the action of legislative bodies and be interested in the char- 
acter of the men who represent them in legislative halls 
than when they do not realize the amount of their contri- 
butions to government. 

A third disadvantage of indirect taxation is of a financial 
nature. Extraordinary expenses, such as those made neces- 
sary by war, cannot best be met by indirect taxation. In- 
creasing the tax results in a smaller consumption of the 
articles upon which the tax is placed, and also the tax will 
not reach its highest productiveness for several years. A 
direct tax does not possess tliis disadvantage, and is there- 
fore known as a more elastic tax. However, indirect 
taxation enables a person to pay taxes in small amounts, 
as a few cents are added to the price when buying sugar, 
clothing, tobacco, or such commodities, and the tax is 
therefore very productive of revenue. Indirect taxation is 
employed by every national government; probably not one 
of them could raise sufficient revenue without resorting to 
this method of taxation. 

Federal Taxation in the United States. — The govern- 
ment of the United States at the present time employs only 
indirect taxation. Congress is given power to lay and 


collect taxes, imposts, and excises, but this power is limited 
by two other constitutional provisions: 

"No tax or duty shall hn laid upon articles exported 
from the United States" and "No capitation or other 
direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the 
census or enumeration herein before directed to be 
This latter provision practically prevents the United 
States from laying any direct taxes, as such taxes would be 
unfair since the population of the states is not at all in pro- 
portion to their wealth. 

History of Federal Direct Taxation. — The United States 
has resorted to apportioned direct taxes three times, but 
with unsatisfactory results. Taxes on incomes were levied 
during the Civil War. The Income Tax of 1862, was not 
apportioned among the states; Congress treated income 
taxes as indirect, in this respect following decisions of the 
courts, which ruled that direct taxes were only those upon 
persons and lands. The Income Tax of 1862 exempted 
incomes below $600, and taxed those in excess of that 
figure at progressive rates; incomes between $600 and 
$5,000 were taxed at a 5 per cent rate; those from $5,000 
to $10,000 at 7^ per cent; incomes above $10,000 at 10 
per cent. The tax yielded $72,982,000 in 1866, but after 
that time a change in the law exempted incomes of less 
than $2,000 and lowered the rate; the receipts fell olT, and 
the income tax was abolished in 1872. In 1894 the neces- 
sity of providing additional revenue caused Congress to 
institute another income tax. This tax provided that all 
incomes of over $4,000 should be taxed at the rate of 2 
per cent on the excess above $4,000, but before the tax 


went into operation it was declared unconstitutional by 
the Supreme Court of the United States on the ground 
that in some of its provisions it was a direct tax, and that 
it had not been apportioned among the states in proportion 
to their population. 

Federal Taxes on Imports. — The United States govern- 
ment derives most of its income from import duties and 
excises. Congress levies taxes upon articles imported into 
the country, and these taxes are collected at customs 
houses situated at all ports of entry. Customs duties are 
of two kinds, specific and ad valorem; specific duties are 
assessed on units of measures, such as a pound, yard, or 
gallon; ad valorem duties are levied in proportion to value. 
Each method has its disadvantages: specific duties often 
result in commodities of low value being taxed as heavily 
as more valuable commodities, and ad valorem duties can- 
not be fairly assessed unless experts in all lines of goods 
are stationed at all customs houses, which, of course, can- 
not be done. In the United States, a combination of speci- 
fic and ad valorem duties is often employed, the same arti- 
cle being taxed according to a unit of measure and also 
on its value. 

The schedule of import taxes is called a tariff. The 
tariff may be so arranged that heavy taxes fall upon articles 
wliich are manufactured in the United States, or may be 
manufactured here. Such a tarift' is called a protective 
tariff, since it raises prices and hence stimulates the produc- 
tion in the United States of the articles taxed. A tariff 
which is levied upon articles not manufactured in the 
United States, or in such a manner as not materially to 
raise prices, is called a "tariff for revenue only." The 


tariff question has been one of the chief poHtical issues in 
the history of the United States. Since i860 we have had 
a high protective tariff. 

Excise Taxes. — Excise taxes are those levied upon 
commodities produced within a country. This form of 
taxation has been extensively used by the United States. 
The first excise tax was levied in 1791 upon distilled spirits, 
as a part of the plan of Congress for paying the debt incurred 
during the Revolutionary War. The tax was unpopular, 
and was repealed in 1802. The War of 181 2 caused excise 
taxes to be laid upon distilled spirits and sugar, but these 
war taxes were repealed in 181 7. Until the outbreak of 
the Civil War no further excise taxes were levied, but the 
extraordinary expenses made necessary by the Civil War 
compelled a resort to excise taxation on an enormous 
scale. The words of Sydney Smith employed forty years 
before, have been aptly appHed^ to the excise taxes of the 
Civil War period: 

''Taxes upon every article which enters into the 
mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the 
foot; taxes upon everything that is pleasant to see, 
hear, feel, smell, or taste; taxes upon warmth, light, 
and locomotion; taxes on everything on earth, and the 
waters under the earth; on everything that comes from 
abroad, or is grown at home; taxes on raw materials, 
taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the 
industry of man; taxes on the sauce which pampers 
man's appetite, and the drug, which restores him to 
health; on the ermine which decorates the judge, and 
the rope which hangs the criminal; on the poor man's 

^ Ford in Lalor's Cyclopaedia. 


salt and the rich man's spice; on the brass nails of the 

coffin and the ribands of the bride." 
Most of the excise taxes were abolished after the war, 
but on account of the increased expenses of the government, 
owing chiefly to pensions and the public debt, excise taxes 
on spirits, malf liquors, and tobacco were retained and 
became a very important item in the federal financial 

The Spanish War resulted in additional excise taxes 
being levied upon a number of commodities, but most of 
these were repealed shortly after the war closed. 

State and Local Taxation. — State and local govern- 
ments chiefly employ direct taxation; this is not due to 
any constitutional necessity, but because the federal gov- 
ernment has pretty thoroughly occupied the domain of 
indirect taxation. The states differ in their systems of 
taxation; among the usual taxes are those upon personal 
property, real estate, corporations, franchises, and the like. 
The local authorities assess and collect most of the taxes 
for local and state purposes, and forward the state tax to 
the state treasury. 

Taxes on Property. — In all of the states there is some 
kind of a property tax. Property consists of two kinds: 
real property and personal property. Real property 
includes land and whatever is attached to it, or made part 
of it, such as trees, water, minerals, and houses or other 
permanent structures. Personal property consists of a 
variety of movable goods, such as clothing, jewelry, machin- 
ery, pictures, books, carriages, merchandise, money, stocks, 
bonds, mortgages, bank and other credits. 


Much personal property can be easily concealed, and 
mocjt of it cannot be correctly valued by the tax assessors. 
For this reason the general tax on personal property is 
evaded by all except the scrupulously honest, and a gen- 
eral personal property tax is, therefore, a tax on honesty. 
Taxes on real estate cannot be evaded. However, another 
difficulty appears when real estate is taxed both for local 
and state purposes. Each local assessor endeavors to keep 
down the valuation in his district in order that his neigh- 
bors may pay a small state tax. There is thus a competi- 
tion among local assessors to reduce local valuation, not- 
withstanding the fact that state laws require property to 
be assessed at its actual value. To remedy undervalua- 
tions many states have state boards of equalization, but 
the task is beyond the ability of any board. Men who 
know the value of real estate on Manhattan Island are not 
qualified to determine values of agricultural or forest lands. 
The conclusion of most economists is that the personal 
property tax should be abolished and real estate should be 
taxed for local purposes only. 

Poll Taxes. — Several of the states have poll or capita- 
tion taxes. These taxes, at the rate of a dollar or two 
dollars a person, arc levied annually upon all males be- 
tween certain ages. A poll tax is one of the most unfair 
of taxes, as it falls equally upon all persons without regard 
to their wealth. In some states the poll tax must be paid 
as a condition precedent to voting, but in such states the 
tax is generally paid by the political party to which the. 
voter belongs. 

Corporation Taxes. — In a number of states a tax is 
levied on the capital stock or gross earnings of all corpora- 


tions doing business within these states. Railroad, insur- 
ance, telegraph, and express companies, are often subject 
to a special state tax. 

Franchise Taxes. — Quasi-public services such as water 
and gas supply and transportation, arc furnished in our 
cities by corporations which have received that privilege 
by virtue of franchises wMch they hold. To tax these 
franchises as a valuable part of the property of the corpora- 
tions, is not uncommon. This is an especially proper fneans 
of gaining a revenue, if the franchise was not paid for 
when it was obtained. 

Inheritance and Income Taxes. — A number of states 
levy a tax on inheritances, sometimes higher on collateral 
than direct inheritances. This tax cannot be evaded, and 
is easily collected. With a small inheritance exempted, 
there is no unfairness in such a tax. 

Income taxes are more difficult to assess, but they have 
been successfully employed by most foreign governments, 
and have been used by a number of our states. It is 
sometimes said that the rate per cent of the income tax 
should increase with the size of incomes, and this would 
be fair enough were it not for the fact that the progressive 
feature of the tax could easily be evaded by dividing an 
income between various members of a family. 

Other Local Sources of Income. — Large sums are col- 
lected by the sale of licenses, which give to the holder 
permission to sell spirituous and malt liquors. A consid- 
erable amount of revenue for local purposes is raised by 
licenses on billiard tables, bowling alleys, shooting galleries, 


and theatres. Usually auctioneers, peddlers, and dray^ 
men must procure licenses. Fines levied upon offenders 
by the courts produce some revenue. 

Fees paid to the government for some special service 
rendered furnish considerable revenue. Fees sometimes 
are given to the officer who performs a service, but it has 
been found that both economy and good service are better 
secured by giving officers an adequate salary and turning 
all fees into the public treasury. 

Exemptions from Taxation. — Governmental property, 
v^hether federal, state or local, is exempt from taxation. 
Property devoted exclusively to educational, religious, or 
benevolent purposes, is ordinarily exempt from taxation. 
In many states a small amount of personal property is 
exempt, and usually savings-bank accounts are exempt. 

Public Debts. — Congress is given authority by the 
Constitution ''to borrov;^ money on the credit of the United 
States." The public debt of the United States has been 
incurred chiefly as a result of war. In times of war, neces- 
sary revenue cannot always be gained from taxation, and 
so a country is obliged to borrow money, giving the lender 
a promissory note or bond. These "bonds bear a certain 
rate of interest, and are payable at some definite date. 
Sometimes the government is unable, or thinks it disad- 
vantageous, to redeem bonds when they fall due; in this 
case the government may issue a new set of bonds, and 
with the proceeds of their sale redeem the old ones. Often 
refunding, as this operation is called, is accomphshed so 
that the interest on the public debt is much lowered. The 
excellent credit of the United States is shown by the fact 


that more than half of its interest bearing debt has been 
placed at a rate of two per cent per annum. 

Local Debts. — Since the building of railroads checked 
state expenditures for roads and canals, the states have 
not been great borrowers of money, but the cities have 
more than taken the place which the states formerly occu- 
pied. City debts have grown to great magnitude and are 
constantly increasing. Improvements are planned for 
generations in advance, and are paid for from the proceeds 
of the sale of city bonds; this is good pohcy, since a great 
work like the New York aqueduct or the Croton dam, 
is built for the benefit of the future as well as the present 
generation, and it is entirely proper that a portion of the 
burden of payment should fall upon future generations. 
Extraordinary expenses, such as the building of bridges, 
water works, sewers, etc., may appropriately be met by 
the sale of bonds. 


Metallic Money of the United States. — In coining money 
a government may adopt one of two poHcies. It may coin 
all the bullion of a certain metal that is presented at the 
mints, which would be free coinage of that metal, or the 
government may purchase a limited amount of metal for 
coinage purposes. When the mint was opened in 1792 
Congress decided upon free coinage of gold and silver at 
a ratio of fifteen grains of silver for one grain of gold. 
That is, a gold dollar weighed in fine metal one-fifteenth 
the amount of a silver dollar. But though we legally 
had bimetallism, that is, free coinage of both gold and 
silver, actually gold went out of circulation and there was 


silver monometallism. The reason for this was that, in the 
markets of the world, the gold in a gold dollar had more 
value as metal than it had as coin, and no one would 
take gold to the mint; moreover, persons who possessed 
gold coins could get more for them as gold than their coin 
value, and so they were withdrawn from circulation. In 
1834 and in 1837 Congress changed the ratio to 15-988 to 
I. Silver now went out of circulation, so in 1873 Congress 
dropped the silver dollar from the list of coins. Shortly 
after this time the production of silver greatly increased, 
and there was an agitation in favor of establishing "bimet- 
alhsm"; the friends of the movement were confident of 
the ability of the nation to maintain the two metals at a 
value ratio of 16 to i, but the opponents saw that such 
action would result in silver monometallism, as gold 
would be more valuable as a metal than as money. A 
compromise was the result. Congress, in 1878, passed the 
Bland-Allison x\ct directing the Secretary of the Treasury 
to purchase in the market $2,000,000, to $4,000,000 worth 
of silver every month and coin it into silver dollars. The 
advocates of silver were not satisfied and again a compro- 
mise bill, know^n as the Sherman Act, was passed in 1890, 
and the Bland-Allison Act was repealed. By the terms of 
the Sherman Act the Secretary of the Treasury was directed 
to purchase every month four and one-half million ounces 
of silver, or as much thereof as might be offered. This 
silver was to be paid for at the market price, but at a rate 
not greater than $1.29 an ounce. To pay for this silver, 
paper money, known as Treasury Notes of 1890, was issued. 
Under the terms of this act two million ounces of silver 
were coined each month for one year, after that time only 
enough bulHon was coined to redeem the Treasury Notes 


that might be presented at the Treasury. So much silver, 
or notes based upon silver, was in circulation by 1893 that 
doubt was entertained in regard to the ability of the nation 
to keep gold in circulation. Tliis, together with other 
causes, resulted in the financial crisis of 1893. President 
Cleveland called a special session of Congress, which met 
in the autumn of 1893 and repealed the purchase clause of 
the Sherman Act. Congress definitely abandoned all 
compromise with free silver, when in 1900 the gold dollar 
was made the monetary unit of the United States, and Con- 
gress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to redeem 
greenbacks and silver notes with gold coin, selling bonds, 
if necessary, in order to keep up the gold supply. It also 
guaranteed that the outstanding silver dollars would be 
maintained at parity with gold. 

Coins of the United States. — At the present time the 
following gold coins are issued from the mints of the 
United States; double eagle, eagle, half eagle, quarter 
eagle. The silver coins are one dollar, half-dollar, quarter- 
dollar and dime. Silver coins, except the dollar, and the 
5 cent piece of nickel and the copper cent are "token 
coins," or change. The value of the metal in token coins 
is much less than the value of the coin, and such coins are 
issued in comparatively small quantities. 

United States Paper Money. — Paper money usually 
consists of a promise of a government to pay the value of 
the note. The government may issue paper money for 
the sake of convenience to the public and to save wear of 
the metal. In such cases sufficient metallic money or bul- 
lion is kept in reserve to redeem all paper money that may 


be presented. Paper money issued in this way is con- 
vertible. But often governments maintain no reserve to 
pay obligations and could not redeem notes if presented. 
Such paper money is inconvertible. The greenbacks of 
1862 were promises to pay, but no time of payment was 
mentioned, and the United States actually did not offer 
to pay them until 1879; in the meantime they were incon- 
vertible. Inconvertible paper money is almost sure to 
depreciate, and the history of the United States with such 
issues should prevent any future experiments with it. 
All paper money of the United States is now redeemable. 
For convenience and economy the United States deposits 
silver dollars in the treasury and in their place issues 
silver certificates of one, two, five, and ten dollars. Gold 
certificates in amounts from $20 to $10,000 are issued in 
like manner. 

National Bank Notes. — The national banking system 
was established in 1863, largely for the purpose of afford- 
ing a market for United States bonds. The present 
national bank laws provide : 

1. That national banks must have a capital of not 
less than $25,000 and the stockholders are responsible to 
double the par value of their stock. 

2. A certain proportion of the capital of every bank 
must be invested in United States bonds, which must be 
deposited in the treasury at Washington. 

3. The banks may issue bank notes to an amount not 
exceeding the par value of the bonds, but additional secur- 
ity may be required in case the bonds fall below par. 

4. The banks must deposit in the treasury an amount 
of money equal to five per cent of their outstanding circula- 


tion. This sum is used for the purpose of redeeming any 
notes that may be presented at the treasury for that purpose. 

5. National bank notes must be redeemed on demand 
in legal tender by the banks which issue them. The notes 
themselves are not legal tender, but are receivable for all 
taxes, except for import duties. 

6. A reserve fund in lawful money must be maintained 
by each bank. 

7. National banks are taxed one-half of one per cent on 
their outstanding circulation. 

8. The administration of the national bank laws is 
intrusted to the Comptroller of the Currency. To him 
each bank must report its condition live times every year, 
and he may send examiners to inquire into the condition 
of the bank at any time. 

National bank notes are absolutely safe. Even though 
the bank which issues them should fail, the bonds and 
reserve fund at Washington are more than sufficient to 
redeem the notes. 


1. Compare public and private finance. 

2. Account for the increase of United States and local expenses. 

3. What are the principal sources of public revenue ? 

4. Compare direct and indirect taxes. 

5. Why does the United States not employ direct taxation? 

6. What is a ''tarifT for revenue only" ? 

7. Discuss the general property tax. 

8. Define bimetallism. 

9. Describe the National Banking System. 


I. Should the Constitution be so amended as to enable the 
United States to resort to direct taxation ? 


2. Would free trade be more beneficial to the people of the 
United States than protection ? 

3. Should savings bank accounts be exempt from taxation? 

4. When may a government properly resort to borrowing money? 

5. Consult a dictionary in regard to the meaning of " legal ten- 
der." Is there any advantage in making a certain kind of money 
legal tender? 


Any good recent work on Political Economy covers the subjects 
mentioned in this chapter. Ely, " Outlines of Economics," parts 
II and III, and Bullock, ''Introduction to Economics," pp. 493- 
551, are especially recommended. 



Citizenship. — The following persons are citizens of the 
United States: 

1. All persons, regardless of sex, who were born in the 
United States and are not subject to any foreign power, 
Indians not taxed being excluded. 

2. All persons naturalized according to law. 

3. Children born in another country whose fathers are 
citizens of the United States, but the right of citizenship 
does not extend to children whose fathers have never 
resided in the United States. 

4. All women married to citizens are given citizenship 
by a law of 1885. 

5. Citizens of Hawaii are citizens of the United States 
as a result of annexation, but inhabitants of Porto Rico 
and the Philippines are not citizens of the United States 
until Cons^ress orsjanizes these islands as territories or 
admits them to the Union as states. 

Aliens; have many privileges within the United States ; in 
many of the states aliens may even vote. The privileges of 
aliens are based upon favor, the privileges of citizens upon 
''long tradition amounting to an indefeasible right, on 
solemn limitations in the federal and state constitutions." 
Aliens may not hold office, nor, in many states, hold real 
estate unless they have declared their intention to become 
citizens. The protection of the United States extends to 
American citizens in foreign countries and upon the high 
seas. When in a foreign country a citizen of the United 



States is, of course, subject to the laws of the foreign 
country, but he may claim and secure the protection of the 
United States in case of any violation of international law 
or treaty obligation. 

Naturalization. — Naturalization is the process by which 
an alien becomes an American citizen. In order to become 
a citizen an alien must have resided within the United 
States for the five years preceding his admission to citizen- 
ship. Two years before his admission to citizenship he 
must appear before a court of record and declare his inten- 
tion to become a citizen, and renounce allegiance to any 
foreign power. The clerk of the court then furnishes him 
w^ith a copy of his declaration, which is often called his 
''first papers." Two years later he must appear again 
before a court and on oath or affirmation make another 
similar declaration, after which he may become a citizen. 
Should the applicant have been under eighteen years of 
age when he came to this country, the first declaration of 
intention may be omitted, and he may be admitted to 
citizenship after he is tw^enty-one years of age, if he has 
resided in the United States five years, including three 
years of his minority. Aliens of the age of twenty-one 
or more, who have enlisted in the armies of the United 
States may become citizens without previous declaration, 
if they can prove one year's residence. Alien seamen, 
who have declared intention to become citizens, may be 
naturalized after three years' service on American mer- 
chant ships. 

Bankruptcy Laws. — According to the bankruptcy law 
of the United States, the property of an insolvent debtor 








may be seized and divided among his creditors; he is then 
released from any legal requirement to pay financial obliga- 
tions incurred before the bankruptcy proceedings were 
initiated. The present bankruptcy law was passed in July, 
1898. It distinguishes between voluntary and involuntary 
bankruptcy. Any person, corporations excluded, may 
become a voluntary bankrupt unless he has previously 
failed within six months. Creditors may force any persons, 
except laborers, farmers, and banks, into involuntary 
bankruptcy if they can prove insolvency in the courts. 

Patent and Copyright Laws. — Patents, issued in the 
name of the United States and under seal of the Patent 
Office, secure to inventors the exclusive right to manufac- 
ture and sell any patented article for a period of seventeen 
years. Patents for designs may be issued for three and 
one- half years, seven years, or fourteen years. 

Applications for patents must show the exact nature of 
the article or design, which must not be in common use or 
covered by a prior patent. Any person who has made a 
new invention or discovery, and who desires further time 
to perfect the same, may file a caveat in the Patent Office, 
and such caveat protects him for one year. Fees for patents 
are as follows: on filing each original application, $15; 
on issuing each original patent, $20; on filing each caveat, 
$10; on design cases, $10 for three and one-half years, 
$15 for seven years, and $30 for fourteen years. During 
1903, 27,819 patents were issued. The receipts of the 
Patent Office for 1903 were $1,642,201, being $193,556 
in excess of expenditures. 

Copyrights are issued through the office of the Librarian 
of Congress. A copyright may be issued to the author, 


inventor, designer, or proprietor of any book, map, chart, 
dramatic or musical composition, engraving, cut, print, or 
photograph or negative thereof, or of a painting, drawing, 
chromo, statue, and of models or designs intended to 
be perfected as works of the fine arts. Copyrights are 
issued for an original term of twenty-eight years, which 
may be extended by a further term of fourteen years. 
During the life of the copyright, the person to whom it is 
issued has the exclusive right of printing and selling the 
article, and in the case of a dramatic composition, of pub- 
licly performing or representing it, or causing it to be per- 
formed or represented by others. Authors have the 
exclusive -right to dramatize their books. A printed copy 
of the title of the book, map, chart, dramatic or musical 
composition, etc., or a description of the work of art must 
be delivered to the Librarian of Congress or deposited in 
the United States mails on or before the date of publica- 
tion, and not later than the day of publication two com- 
plete copies of the best edition of each book or other arti- 
cle, must be delivered or sent to the office of the Librarian 
of Congress. The fee for recording each claim to copy- 
right is fifty cents, and a further fee of fifty cents is required 
for a copy of the record. Until March 3, 1891, works of 
foreign authors might be ''pirated," or printed in the 
United States without permission of the author, and with- 
out the author receiving any profits from their sale. The 
law of 1 89 1 permits citizens of a foreign country to secure 
copyrights in the United States, provided citizens of the 
United States are given equal privileges in that country. 
As a result of this act, the United States has entered into 
copyright agreements with the leading countries of the 


Military and Naval Powers of Congress. — Congress is 
given authority to declare war, grant letters of marque and 
reprisal, and enforce rules concerning captures on land and 
water; to raise and support armies, but no appropriation 
of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two 
years; to pro\dde and maintain a navy; to make rules for 
the government and regulation of the land and naval 

The United States Army. — The founders of our govern- 
ment beheved that large standing armies were a menace 
to liberty. It was their opinion that the regular army 
would be kept at its proper limit, by making it necessary 
to secure an appropriation for its maintenance as often as 
once in two years. Until 1898 the regular army in Hme of 
peace, did not exceed 27,000 enUsted men. An act of 
March i, 1899 authorized the President to increase the 
regular army to 65,000 and enroll 35,000 volunteers. This 
act was limited to two years. In January, 1901, the maxi- 
mum force of the army was fixed at 100,000 men and the 
minimum at 57,000 men. This is a very small number as 
compared to the armies of Europe. 

General Staff of the Army. — On August 15, 1903, the 
system of military control of the army was reorganized in 
accordance with the General Staff Act of February 14, 1903. 
Tliis act provided for a military Chief of Staff, and for his 
assistance a corps of forty-four officers was created. The 
duties of the General Staff are to prepare plans for the 
national defense, and for the mobihzation of the mihtary 
forces in time of war; to investigate and report upon all 
questions affecting the efficiency of the army and its prepa- 


ration for military operations; to render professional aid 
and assistance to the Secretary of War, and to general 
officers and other superior commanders; and to perform 
other duties not assigned by law as may from time to time 
be prescribed by the President. 

The Militia. — The regular army being too small to 
serve the needs of the country in a severe crisis, Congress 
is given authority ^ to call out and organize the mihtia. 
The mihtia consists of all able bodied male citizens of the 
United States, and those between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-five years who have declared their intention to become 

A part of the militia is regularly organized in the states, 
under their own officers. This force is called the National 
Guard. The National Guard on October i, 1904, num- 
bered 8,805 officers and 107,132 enhsted men. The United 
States makes an annual appropriation for the assistance of 
the National Guard. 

The United States Navy. — The isolation of the United 
States from the great military powers has always made it a 
wise poHcy to place great reliance upon the navy. The 
modern navy of the United States dates from 1883, since 
which time all our powerful ships of war have been con- 
structed. The territory acquired as a result of the Span- 
ish War made large additions to the navy necessary, and 
our navy is now surpassed in strength only by the navies 
of Great Britain and France, and is about equal to the 
navy of Germany. 

Congress is given authority to supplement the regular 

^ Art. I, Sec. 8, Clauses 15 and 16. 


navy in time of war by the use of privateers. Privateers 
are ships owned and operated by private persons, but 
commissioned by the government granting letters of "mar- 
que and reprisal." Privateers so licensed may seize the 
property of an enemy and dispose of it to the profit of 
their owners. Privateering is not in accordance with mod- 
ern notions of morality, and it doubtless will never again 
be resorted to by the United States. In the Paris Con- 
gress of 1856 privateering was declared abolished by the 
great powers, but the United States did not assent because 
it was thought privateers might be necessary to us on 
account of our small navy. However, privateers have not 
been resorted to since that time. 

In eighteen states there is a naval militia. These forces 
are under the direction of state officials and may be called 
into the national service in time of war. They are drilled 
especially for duty in harbor defense. 


1. Who are citizens of the United States? 

2. What privileges have citizens that cannot be claimed by 

3. How may an alien become a citizen ? 

4. Describe the bankruptcy law of the United States. 

5. What is a patent? How may a patent be obtained? 

6. What effect had the Spanish War upon the navy and army of 
the United States? 

7. What is the General Staff of the army? 

8. Why do we need a strong navy, though a small army is suffi- 
cient ? 


I. Is citizenship too easily acquired by aliens? What changes 
would you suggest in the naturalization laws? 


2. Does a bankruptcy law accomplish a greater amount of good 
or evil ? 

3. What relation have our patent laws to monopolies? Are 
patents now granted for too long a period? 

4. Show the wisdom of the founders of our government in re- 
quiring that an appropriation for the army must be made as often 
as once in every two years. Compare with the English Mutiny 
Act of 1689. 

5. Compare the navy of the United States with the navies of the 
European powers and Japan. See " Statesman's Year Book " or 
newspaper almanacs. 


On Citizenship: Hart, "Actual Government," pp. 15-30; Brewer, 
"American Citizenship"; Willoughby, "American Citizenship," 
Chaps. I-VIII; Richman, article on Citizenship in Political Science 
Quarterly, Vol. V, pp. 104-123, 

On Patents and Copyrights: Hart, " Actual Government," pp. 
492-493; Ely, "Outlines of Economics," pp. 265-267. 

On Army and Navy: Shaler, "United States," Vol. I, Chap. XI; 
Hart, "Actual Government," pp. 459-480; Annual Reports of the 
Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy. 



Necessity of Federal Courts. — A system of Federal 
courts is necessary for several reasons: 

1. There must be some court to interpret United States 
laws, otherwise these laws would be subject to conflicting 
interpretations by state courts. 

2. Federal courts must interpret the Constitution and, 
since that document is the supreme law of the land, must 
determine the constitutionality of United States laws and 
treaties as well as of state constitutions and state laws. A 
law that has been declared unconstitutional is null and void. 

3. Cases to wliich certain persons are parties could not 
with propriety be brought before state courts. Such cases 
include those in which ambassadors and other accredited 
representatives of foreign governments are concerned. 

Jurisdiction of Federal Courts. — The jurisdiction of the 
Federal courts is prescribed in the Constitution. Two 
classes of cases may come before the United States courts: 
one of these classes is concerned with the nature of the 
questions involved; the other comes before the Federal 
courts because of the nature of the persons concerned. 

"The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in 
law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the 
laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which 
shall be made, under their authority; to all cases 
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers, and 
consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime juris- 



diction; to controversies to which the United States 
shall be a party; to controversies betv^^een two or more 
States, between a State and citizens of another State; 
between citizens of different States; between citizens 
of the same State claiming lands under grants of 
different States, and between a State, or the citizens 
thereof, and foreign States, citizens, or subjects.' 

)> 1 

The Eleventh Amendment. — The jurisdiction of the 
United States courts is limited by the Eleventh Amend- 
ment, which reads: 

''The judicial power of the United States shall not 

be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, 

commenced or prosecuted against one of the United 

States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or 

subjects of any foreign State." 

This amendment was the result of an action brought by 

one Chisholm, a citizen of North Carolina, against the 

state of Georgia, in 1793. The Supreme Court decided 

that a citizen of one state might make another state a 

defendant in an action brought in the Supreme Court. 

Intense excitement followed, as this was then thought to be 

incompatible with the dignity of a "sovereign" state. 

The chief effect of this amendment has been to enable a 

state to repudiate its debts. 

The Supreme Court. — The chief court of the United 
States is the Supreme Court. The Constitution does not 
name the number of judges who shall compose the court, 
but at present it consists of a chief justice and eight associ- 
ate justices. 

> Art. Ill, Sec. 2, Par. i. 




"In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public 
ministers and consuls, and those to which a state 
shall be a party, the Supreme Court has original juris- 
In other cases the Supreme Court has appellate juris- 
diction, that is the authority to review a case already tried 
in another court and to render a decision. 

The Supreme Court decides cases by a majority vote of 
the justices present. The Court begins its annual sessions 
on the second Monday in October, and usually adjourns in 
May. Daily sessions are held, except on Saturdays and 
Sundays, beginning at twelve o'clock M. in the chambers 
of the Court at the Capitol. 

Inferior Federal Courts. — Congress in accordance with 
a constitutional provision (Art. Ill, Sec. i), has estabhshed 
a number of inferior courts. These courts are district 
courts, circuit courts, circuit courts of appeal, and a court 
of claims. 

District Courts. — The lowest regular United States 
courts are the district courts. Each state constitutes a 
judicial district and has a district court, except that the 
more populous states have two or more districts. Ad- 
miralty cases and most bankruptcy cases are tried in the 
district courts. A district judge presides over the court. 

Circuit Courts. — The United States is divided into nine 
circuits for judicial purposes. A judge of the Supreme 
Court originally held court in each of the circuits, but now 
two or more judges are appointed for each circuit. Jus- 
tices of the Supreme Court are supposed to attend at least 


one term in every two years, but since 1869 they have only 
occasionally opened a session of the circuit courts. Cases 
involving the patent and copyright laws and the revenue 
laws are brought before circuit courts. Many civil and 
criminal cases may be brought before either district or cir- 
cuit courts. A district judge may hold court in a circuit, 
and likewise a circuit judge may hold a district court. 
Circuit C3urt cases are largely cases appealed from district 
courts, or cases transferred from state courts. 

Circuit Courts of Appeal. — These courts, nine in number, 
were created in 1891 in order to relieve the Supreme Court, 
which was four years behind the docket. These courts 
have final jurisdiction in many cases, but there is an appeal 
to the Supreme Court in all cases involving the Federal 
Constitution and treaties. Each circuit court of appeals 
has three judges, two of whom are sufficient to hold court. 

Court of Claims. — The Court of Claims consists of 
five judges. It holds sessions in Washington and has 
authority to settle claims of private persons against the 
United States. If a claim is found valid, the fact is certified 
to Congress, which then makes an appropriation to satisfy 
the claim. 

Appointment of Federal Judges. — All Federal judges are 
appointed by the President subject to confirmation by the 
Senate. Their term of office is for life or during good 
behavior. The salaries of Federal judges are very small, 
when compared with the importance of the office and the 
remuneration received by leading lawyers. The Chief- 
Justice of the United States receives $13,000 a year, asso- 


ciate justices of the Supreme Court receive a salary of 
$12,500 a year, circuit judges are paid $7,000 a year, and 
district judges $6,000. 

In accordance with the terms of an act of 1869, any United 
States judge of ten years standing, who has reached the 
age of seventy years, may resign and continue to draw his 
full salary. A few judges have been retired by special 
act of Congress before reaching the age of seventy years. 
For misconduct, judges may be impeached in the same 
manner as other government officials. 

Court Officers. — In each district there is a district- 
attorney, appointed by the President, whose duty it is to 
conduct cases to which the United States is a party in all 
the inferior United States courts, except the Court of 
Claims. A marshal in each district has duties similar to 
those of the county sheriff. United States Commissioners, 
appointed in each circuit by the circuit courts, assist both 
district and circuit judges by administering oaths, examin- 
ing witnesses in certain cases, etc. 

Relation between State and Federal Courts. — All of the 

states have their own courts, which interpret state laws, 
and in most cases their decisions are final. Cases may be 
transferred from state courts to United States courts if an 
interpretation of a Federal law of the Constitution is in- 
volved. A few cases may be brought before either the 
Federal or State courts. 

There are four grades of law in the United States, and in 
case of conflict the lower must ahvays give way to the 
higher. These grades are: (i) the United States Consti- 
tution; (2) United States treaties and laws; (3) state 


constitutions; (4) state laws. In case of conflict between 
laws of equal grade, the last one passed annuls the others. 


1. Describe the organization of the Supreme Court, " 

2. Mention the kinds of cases in which the Supreme Court has 
original jurisdiction. 

3. Why is it necessary that we should have United States courts? 

4. Describe the inferior United States courts. 

5. What is the relation between the United States courts and 
state courts? 

6. If the courts declare a statute to be wholly or in part uncon- 
stitutional, what is the effect of such a declaration? 


1. Wliy should judges be appointed for life? 

2. Show the influence of America's greatest jurist, Chief- Justice 
IMarshall, on American law and history. Magruder, "John Mar- 
shall," Chap. X. Thayer, " John Marshall," Chaps. III-V. 

3. Why was the Eleventh Amendment passed? Would it be 
possible for such an amendment to be passed at the present time? 

4. Who is the Chief- Justice of the United States? 

5. Name some act of Congress that the Supreme Court has 
declared unconstitutional and give reasons for the decision. 

Any lawyer whom you know would gladly give the desired in- 


Hart, "Actual Government," Chap. XVII. 

Bryce, " American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chaps. XXII-XXIV. 

Willoughby, "Supreme Court." 

Carson, " Supreme Court." 

Woodburn, "American Republic," Chap. VI. 



The National Domain. — The cession of western lands 
by the original states prior to the going into effect of the 
Articles of Confederation, gave to the United States an 
immense tract of land extending west to the Mississippi 
River. The last important act of the Congress of the 
Confederation was the famous Ordinance of 1787, which 
provided for the government of the Northwest Territory. 
This ordinance furnished a model for territorial govern- 
ment, which the United States has followed in many 
details. For the Northwest Territory a territorial govern- 
ment was established, negro slavery was prohibited, civil 
and religious liberty was guaranteed, and it was under- 
stood that in due time the territory would "be formed into 
distinct republican states." 

Subsequent acquisitions immensely enlarged the national 
domain: the great Louisiana region, stretching west and 
north from the Mississippi River, was purchased from 
France in 1803; Florida was purchased from Spain in 181 9; 
in 1846 our title was made clear to the Oregon country, to 
which our real claim had been that of exploration and 
settlement, by treaty with Great Britain; the southwestern 
boundary of the United States reached its present limits 
as a result of the treaty which terminated the Mexican 
War, and the Gadsden purchase of 1853. 

The original states, together with Maine, Kentucky, and 
Texas, were never a part of the national domain. 



Land Policy of the United States. — The pubhc domain 
of the United States, which has included the immense area 
of 2,889,175 square miles,^ has been largely sold to actual 
settlers at a price ranging from $1.25 to $2.50 an acre. 
The Homestead Act of 1862 enabled "any citizen, or per- 
son who has declared his intention of being such, who is 
the head of a family, or has attained his majority, or has 
served in the army or navy, and is not already possessed 
of more than 160 acres in any state or territory," to obtain 
a homestead of 160 acres at practically no expense, on 
condition that he should actually cultivate the land for five 
years, unless he was a soldier or sailor in the employ of 
the United States during the Civil War, in which case 
residence for only one year was required. Public land 
has also been distributed in accordance with the terms of the 
Timber Culture Act, which provided that a citizen over 
twenty-one years of age, the head of a family, might secure 
160 acres of public land by setting out a certain area of 
land in trees and keeping the trees in good condition for 
eight years. Much of the public land has been given 
away to encourage the building of railroads, and a consid- 
erable amount has been given for the endowment of schools 
and colleges. 

The United States has now parted with most of its land 
in one or other of the ways mentioned; of that which re- 
mains, comparatively Httle is suitable for agricultural pur- 
poses, though doubdess irrigation would reclaim a large 
part of the now arid lands. 

A part of the public land has been retained for national 
parks and forest reservations. Indian reservations and 
military reservations exist in many parts of the country. 
1 Donaldson, "The Public Domain," pp. 14-16. 


The Results of the Public Land Policy. — Notwithstand- 
ing grave abuses, whereby corporations and private person s 
have been enabled to secure fraudulently vast tracts of 
land, the land policy has resulted in disposing of the 
public land to millions of actual settlers, who have occupied 
holdings of small areas. This is of the utmost importance 
to the United States, as it has caused the land to be tilled 
by proprietors and not by tenants. 

Government of Organized Territories. — An organizing 
act, passed by Congress, provides for a territory the usual 
executive, legislative, and judicial departments. The 
chief executive of a territory is a governor appointed for 
a term of four years by the President, with the consent of 
the Senate. In a similar manner, and for a like term, the 
President appoints the treasurer, auditor, and other chief 
territorial officers. A territorial legislature, consisting of 
two houses, is elected by the voters for a term of two years. 
The legislature may make laws for the territory, and pro- 
vide for the organization of local governments. The highest 
territorial judges are appointed by the President for a 
term of four years. They are not a part of the United 
States Judiciary, but are regarded as a part of the territo- 
rial government, and may be removed from office by the 
President. Each territory may send a delegate to Congress. 
The delegate may address Congress on matters affecting 
his territory, but he has no vote. 

Territorial government is a combination of self-govern- 
ment and control by the United States. Though the 
territorial legislature has considerable power, its members 
are elected by voters whose qualifications are determined 
by Congress, and any acts of the legislature may be set 


aside by Congress. All judges, except the highest, are 
elected by the voters. Citizens of territories have no 
vote in presidential elections. 

AH the states, except the original thirteen and Vermont, 
Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, and Cahfornia, have gone 
through the territorial stage. 

Unorganized Territories. — Alaska and Indian Terri- 
tory are unorganized territories. The executive .officers 
of Alaska, consisting of a governor, attorney-general, and 
surveyor-general, are appointed by the President with 
the consent of the Senate. There is no legislature. Con- 
gress alone may pass laws for the territory. Three judges 
are appointed for the territory by the President with the 
consent of the Senate. Though Alaska was purchased 
from Russia in 1867, it had no code of laws until 
a code was passed by Congress in 1900. Local self- 
government is exercised by towns of three hundred inhabi- 

The government of the Indian Territory has been pecu- 
liar. Until 1898, Congress recognized the civihzed Indian 
tribes as "domestic, dependent nations" and entered into 
treaties with them on this basis. There was no uniform 
government for the entire territory. In 1898 Congress 
adopted a code of laws for the territory, established courts, 
and the tribal laws were made subject to the approval of 
the President. Provision has been made for the individ- 
ual allotment of land and the early cessation of tribal 
government. The white population of Indian Territory, 
considerably larger than the Indian population, has gained 
control of a large part of the land by "leases," though 
it is against the principles of the government to allow 


white men to live on reservations, and they cannot acquire 
legal title to land. 

How a Territory May Become a State. — An organized 
territory with sufficient population, that of an average 
Congressional district, may, through its legislature, peti- 
tion Congress to pass an "enabling act." Such an act 
authorizes the territory to form a state constitution, and 
may prescribe certain conditions. The voters of the terri- 
tory then elect delegates to a constitutional convention, 
which forms a constitution and submits it to the people 
for ratification; after the constitution has been approved. 
Congress may declare the new state to be admitted to the 
Union. In a few cases, territories have not waited for 
Congress to pass an enabling act, but have framed a con- 
stitution and applied at once for admission. Michigan and 
California were so admitted. 

The Constitution requires that "no state shall be framed 
or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, nor 
shall any state be formed by the junction of two or 
more states, without the consent of the legislature." 
West Virginia was admitted in 1863, without the real 
consent of Virginia, most of which was at that time in 
rebellion against the authority of the United States, but 
after the conclusion of the war the Virginia legislature 
gave its consent to the act which had already gone into 

The District of Columbia. — The District of Columbia is 
governed directly by Congress. Since 1878, control over 
the district has been exercised through three commissioners 
appointed by Congress. Citizens of the district have no vote. 



Porto Rico. — By the Treaty of Paris (1899) the island 
of Porto Rico was ceded to the United States. Until 
April 12, 1900, it had a military government, but on that 
date it was given a civil government very similar to that 
enjoyed by our organized territories. 

A chief executive, appointed by the President, serves for 
four years. His salary is $8,000 a year. There is an 
executive council of eleven members, five of whom must be 
natives of Porto Rico. Members of the council are also 
appointed by the President for a term of four years. In- 
cluded in this council, which serves as an upper chamber 
of the legislature, are the secretary, attorney-general, 
commissioner of education, and auditor. A lower legisla- 
tive house, composed of thirty-five members, is elected 
by the voters for a term of two years. The judiciary is 
composed of a United States District Court and a Supreme 
Court. The island sends a commissioner to Washington, 
but he has no seat in Congress. 

The Philippines. — The Philippine Islands were under 
military government after the war with Spain. Congress, 
in 1902, provided a permanent civil government. A 
governor, appointed in the usual manner by the President, 
is the chief executive; his annual salary is $15,000. With 
him are associated six executive officers, consisting of a 
secretary, an attorney-general, a treasurer, an auditor, a 
commissioner of education, and a secretary of the interior. 
The governor, the six heads of executive departments, and 
five persons, who must be natives of the Philippines, ap- 
pointed by the President, constitute a council, which acts 
as an upper legislative chamber. 


A lower legislative house, consisting of thirty members, 
is elected by the people for a term of two years. In order 
to vote for members of the House of Delegates, as the 
lower house is called, a person must be able to prove one 
year's residence, must be twenty-one years old, and must 
either own taxable property or be able to read and write 
Spanish or English. 

The Sulu Islands. — These islands were also acquired 
from Spain, but that country had never really exercised 
much authority over them. By treaty, negotiated August, 
1899, between the Sultan of Sulu and the United States, 
represented by a military officer, the sovereignty of the 
United States was acknowledged. The Sultan remains at 
the head of the government and is paid a salary by the 
United States. The United States is given authority to 
occupy and control such parts of the islands as may be 
regarded as necessary to its interests. 

The Hawaiian Islands. — These islands were annexed 
to the United States by a joint resolution of Congress in 
July, 1898. Until 1900, the repubhcan government of 
Hawaii continued in power, but then the islands were 
given a government like that of an organized territory, 
including a delegate to Congress. 

Guam and Tutuila. — Guam and Tutuila, the latter one 
of the Samoan group, acquired by treaty in 1899, are 
governed by naval officers appointed for that purpose. 

The Insular Possessions and the Constitution. — Until 
the Treaty of Paris all territory, with the exception of 
Alaska, was acquired with the understanding that it should 


be incorporated into the Union in due season, and that in 
the meantime the civil rights of its inhabitants should be 
preserved. The treaty by which Alaska was acquired 
made no mention of incorporation into the Union, but 
guaranteed the civil rights of the inhabitants. 

Recent decisions of the Supreme Court have been to 
the effect that territory acquired by treaty is not a part of 
the United States, but a possession of the United States. 
Territory may be acquired by treaty, but it can be made a 
part of the United States only by act of Congress. From 
this it follows that the Constitution does not cover territory 
thus acquired, and that Congress may govern such terri- 
tory as it sees fit. For example: the Constitution provides 
that "all duties, imports, and excises shall be uniform 
throughout the United States," but this does not apply 
to the Philippines as they are not a part of the United 
States, but it should be noted that some constitutional 
restrictions include our insular possessions, for example, 
the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery within 
the United States ^^ or any place subject to their juris- 


1. Show how the national domain of the United States was 

2. How has the United States disposed of the national domain? 
What have been the results of this policy? 

3. Describe the government of an organized territory. 

4. Describe the government of Alaska and the Indian Territory. 

5. Describe the government of Porto Rico and the Philippine 

6. How may a territory become a state? 

7. Give arguments tending to establish or to controvert the fol- 
lowing: "The Constitution follows the flag." 



1. Explain the importance of Congressional control over the 
District of Columbia. 

2. Why should the United States maintain forest reservations? 

3. What may be done by irrigation to make arid lands produc- 
tive? Century Magazine, Vol. L, pp. 85-99. Review of Reviews, 
Vol. VIII, pp. 394-406. Outlook, Vol. LXVI, pp. 337-344. 

4. Give a discussion of the problems resulting from the acquisi- 
tion of our insular possessions. 


Hart, " Actual Government," pp. 332-380. 
Bryce, " American Commonwealth," Vol. I, Chap. XLVII. 
Woodburn, *' American Republic," Chap. VIII. 
Roosevelt, "Winning of the West," Vol. Ill, Chap. VI. 
Reinsch, " Colonial Government," Part VII. 



Sources of Law. — We have seen that the written law 
consists of the Constitution of the United States, United 
States laws and treaties, state constitutions, and state 
laws. There is also unwritten law wdiich is composed of 
common law and equity. The common law, which in a 
large measure has come to us from England, comprises 
many customs and rules which by long usage have acquired 
the force of law. An example of the common law is the 
custom of three days of grace in the payment of a note. 
This custom arose when travel was so uncertain that a 
person could not depend upon reaching his destination at 
an exact time. In the absence of written law covering a 
case, the principles of common law^ are applied. Equity 
is another branch of unwritten law, which arose when the 
principles of common law had become fixed and unchange- 
able. Equity is a branch of the law designed to modify 
the application of law by the principles of natural justice 
when the law would work an injustice or hardship. Equity 
cases are now a m: st important branch of law. 

Object of Law. — Laws are designed to secure rights and 
to punish wrongs. Laws protect the right of life, the right 
of property, the right of reputation, etc. 

Personal and Real Property. — There are two kinds of 
property: personal and real. Real property is principally 
composed of lands and buildings, but this species of prop- 




erty also includes appurtenances, which are certain minor 
rights, such as right of way, right to the use of a spring, or 
right to use a quarry. Land is often owned by one man, 
subject to certain claims held by another. Personal prop- 
erty includes movable property, such as clothing, tools, 
money, household goods, and promissory notes. 

Contracts. — A contract is a voluntary agreement be- 
tween two or more persons to do or not to do a certain 
thing. Contracts are either express or implied. An 
express contract may be made in writing, or orally, or even 
by a gesture, such as nodding the head to an auctioneer. 
An implied contract is one that may be inferred from the 
acts or circumstances of the parties. When goods are 
ordered at a store, it is implied that the current price will 
be paid. A well-known implied contract is the taking of a 
paper from the mails after the subscription has expired; 
such action indicates that the paper is desired, and pay- 
ment must be made. Some contracts, hke deeds, must be 
sealed. A formal seal — such as that of a notary public — 
may be attached to the contract, though a wafer, a bit of 
wax, or almost anything else, will ordinarily suffice for a 
seal. In many states a scroll, printed or made with a 
pen, with the word "Seal" or "L.S." will answer the 

"It takes two persons to make a contract," but when 
the two agree the contract is binding. A storekeeper 
may mark goods in a window at an exceedingly low price; 
if a customer offers the amount indicated, the bargain is 

Conditions Necessary to a Contract. — The parties to a 
contract must ordinarily be of full age. The insane and 


feeble-minded are incapable of making contracts. No 
contract is binding if the thing to be done is contrary to 
law or opposed to good morals. Thus, a gambling debt 
may not be collected by process of law. Contracts in 
which force or fraud have entered, or w^iich are impos- 
sible to perform, arc not binding. Finally, there must be 
a consideration, which may be money or goods, love and 
affection (often given as the consideration in contracts 
between husband and wife), or mutual promises. 

Remedy for Broken Contracts. — Loss sustained by 
reason of a broken contract may be recovered through 
legal action, or the courts may compel the terms of the 
contract to be met. Unless an attempt is made to enforce 
a contract within a reasonable time, in most states six or 
seven years, a contract cannot legally be enforced. 

Variety of Contracts. — Contracts cover every variety 
of business relations. There are contracts to sell, contracts 
to lease, contracts of agency, contracts of partnership, 
contracts of insurance, and a host of others. 

Title and Transfer of Real Estate. — Personal property 
may be exchanged without a written contract, but a written 
document, or deed, is necessary in order to transfer a title 
to real estate. The deed must describe the property, name 
the persons who are parties to the contract, state the con- 
sideration, and contain the signature and seal of the person 
who is giving up ownership of the property. Deeds are 
recorded in the office of the county clerk. 

Mortgages. — Land may be pledged as security for the 
payment of a debt by the means of a mortgage. A mort- 


gage is not a transfer of property, but is a claim to property, 
which may lead to a transfer of ownership if the obligation 
is not met when it falls due. 

A mortgage must contain a description of the land 
pledged, the names of the parties, and the amount of the 
consideration. Unless the debt be paid when it becomes 
due, the mortgage may be foreclosed, in which event the 
property is sold and the proceeds devoted to paying the 
debt. Should the proceeds of the sale be more than 
enough to discharge the debt, the surplus is given to the 
mortgagor. Mortgages are generally recorded in the 
office of the county clerk of courts. If the mortgagor be 
married, the mortgage must bear the signature of his wife, 
otherwise the property might be subject to the dower 
interest of the wife. A chattel mortgage is a mortgage on 
personal property. It need not be recorded. 

Contracts to Lease. — A written contract transferring 
possession of property for a limited time is called a lease. 
The owner gives possession of the property in return for a 
stated payment. The lessee is bound to return the prop- 
erty in as good condition as he found it, except for reason- 
able deterioration due to its use. 

Transfer of Property by Will. — Title to property may 
be transferred by means of a will. A last will and testa- 
ment must usually be made in writing; the testator, or 
maker of the will, must be of sound mind; and in most of 
the states it must be witnessed and signed by two persons 
who are not beneficiaries under the terms of the will. 
Undue influence exerted by a beneficiary invalidates a 
will. Minors cannot convey real property by will, but 


may so convey personal property in most of the states. 
A will may become invalid by the making of a later will, 
or a codicil may make changes in the body of the document. 

An executor, named in the will, carries out its provisions, 
but is responsible to the courts. Should a person die 
intestate, or without having made a will, his property 
passes to the nearest kin as provided by law. The gift 
of property by will is called a bequest. Wills that transfer 
ownership of real estate are recorded in the same manner 
as deeds. 

No form is prescribed by law for the making of wills, and 
the services of a lawyer are not absolutely necessary. 
However, legal language is more exact than that used by 
most laymen, and a will drawn by a lawyer will usually 
secure the desires of a testator more nearly than if drawn 
by himself. As a rule, "the man who is his own lawyer 
has a fool for a client." 

Promissory Notes. — A promissory note is a written 
promise to pay a sum of money at a future time. The 
time of payment may be a certain definite time, or it may 
be payable on demand. Interest is usually specified in the 
note, in which case interest begins to accumulate from 
the date of the note; if interest is not mentioned, it begins 
at the date when the note becomes due. A note is negoti- 
able if made payable to the order of the payee, or to "the 
bearer." The payee, or person in whose favor the note is 
drawn, may sell a negotiable note to a tliird party, in which 
case he writes his name on the back of the note, and by 
this indorsement becomes responsible for the payment. 
When a note becomes due, it is presented to the maker for 
payment; if ])aymcnt l^c refused by the maker, an indorser 


may be made responsible by being notified in writing of the 
refusal of the maker to pay the note. Tliis process is 
known as "protesting a note." 

The Contract of Marriage. — Marriage is legally a con- 
tract. The mutual promises made by parties to the con- 
tract are the consideration. An engagement to marry is 
a contract to be executed in the future; it is binding only 
upon persons of legal age; it may be dissolved by mutual 
consent; and a failure to abide by the contract may result 
in a suit for damages. False representations in regard to 
wealth, social position, or character, legally justify the 
breaking of an engagement to marry, though they in no 
wise affect the legality of a marriage. The marriage 
contract is for life, but may be terminated by divorce. 
The husband must support and protect the wife; the wife 
must live with the husband, and if she leaves him without 
cause he cannot be compelled to support her. 

Parents and Children. — Children legally owe obedience 
and service to parents. Parents have the custody of minor 
children, and may compel obedience by punishment, but 
punishment must not be cruel. The earnings of a minor 
child belong to the parent, though he may voluntarily per- 
mit the child to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Parents 
must support children until they are twenty-one years of 

Guardian and Ward. — A guardian is appointed by a 
probate or equity court, or may be named in a will, to 
care for the property of a minor child. The guardian 
must support and educate the ward^ according to the ward's 


social position. A guardian is responsible for loss to the 
ward's property if occasioned by neglect. Guardianship 
is terminated by turning over the property to the ward 
when he becomes of age. 

Master and Servant. — Employer and employee are the 
popular terms now used to designate, in a general way, the 
classes known to the law as master and servant. The 
master is entitled to service and obedience during the term 
of the contract, and the servant is entitled to the wages 
agreed upon, and may not be discharged, unless for cause, 
before the expiration of the contract term. A servant who, 
without cause, leaves his master's service before complet- 
ing the contract term, can legally collect no wage; a master, 
who discharges a servant without cause, may be sued for 
the entire wage of the contract term. 

A servant is liable for injury to the property of a master 
only when the injury is the result of carelessness. 


Nature of International Law. — International law com- 
prises the rules which sovereign States observe in their 
relations with one another. International law is, in the 
main, composed of customs which by long usage have 
acquired the force of law. International law differs from 
municipal law, the name applied to the law of a sovereign 
State, as there is no means, short of war, of enforcing 
international law, except the honor of the nation. Most 
international relations in time of peace are regulated in 
accordance with the terms of treaties, but war suspends or 
annuls treaties, except in so far as treaties deal with methods 
of war and describe the boundaries of a State. 


War. — War is an armed contest between States or parts 
of States. An insurrection is not recognized as war, un- 
less the insurgents have a regularly organized government, 
in which case the insurrection is civil war. States engaged 
in war are known as belligerents. States taking no part in 
a struggle are called neutrals. 

Declaration of War. — A formal declaration of war was 
once considered necessary, but now no declaration is abso- 
lutely necessary, as the fact that war may be impending is 
known throughout the ciA'ilized world whenever the rela- 
tions of two States become seriously strained. It is, how- 
ever, necessary that a State should give public notice of its 
intention to wage war, in order that neutral powers may 
issue proclamations of neutrality and enforce their neu- 
trality laws. 

Rules Affecting Belligerents. — In order to mitigate the 
horrors of war, a number of rules have arisen which regu- 
late the conduct of belligerent powers. 

1. Belligerents must not employ savages, or semi- 
ci\dlized peoples, as part of their fighting forces. This 
is because such peoples have a low standard of moral- 
ity and will not be guided by the rules of civilized 

2. Non-combatants are not to be injured. 

3. Prisoners are to be treated with no unnecessary 

4. No use is to be made of poisons. 

5. Explosive bullets in small arms are prohibited. 
Explosive rifle bullets make wounds more painful and 


deadly, but result in no great material advantage to 
the party using them. 

6. The enemy's flag shall not be used for purpose 
of deceit. 

Property of an Enemy in Time of War. — Public property 
of a military character, such as forts, dockyards, military 
and naval stores, may be appropriated or destroyed. 
Public money, and most movable goods, may also be seized 
or destroyed, but much public property of a non-military 
character, such as buildings, hbraries, and works of art, 
are exempt from destruction or injury. 

Private property that may be used for war may be 
confiscated, or publicly purchased. Under this class 
would fall horses, cattle, wagons, fuel, provisions, cloth, 
and shoes. Private property, not capable of direct military 
use, such as money, furniture, works of art, etc., is exempt 
from seizure. 

Blockade. — The ports of an enemy may be blockaded 
by public armed ships and by shore batteries, but a formal 
notice of such blockade must be issued in order to inform 
owners of neutral shipping. Any ship that tries to enter 
a blockaded port is subject to capture, but if a ship has 
left its home port and been on the high seas since the 
blockade was proclaimed, it may not be seized without 
warning. A captured ship is called a prize, but it is not 
legally forfeited until its case has been passed upon by a 
prize court, which is maintained for that purpose by the 
belligerent power in a port of its own or in a port of an 


Right of Search. — Neutral merchant vessels on the 
high seas, that is, more than three miles from shore, are 
liable to search by the public armed vessels of belligerent 
powers. Should contraband of war, which is evidently 
intended for an enemy, be found on board, it is subject to 
seizure. Contraband of war consists of any property that 
may directly serve a warlike purpose, such as arms and 
munitions of war, coal, food, and supplies if destined for 
army uses. States do not agree in regard to exactly what 
articles may be treated as contraband, and it is customary 
for belligerents to state at the beginning of hostilities what 
they will regard as contraband. 

The Declaration of Paris. — The Treaty of Paris, 
which brought to an end the Crimean War, was signed 
March 30, 1856. Representatives of the powers remained 
in Paris for several weeks and formulated rules in regard 
to the capture of property on the seas in time of war. 
These rules, now accepted as international law, are as 
follows : 

1. Privateering is, and remains, abolished. 

2. A neutral flag covers enemy's goods, with the 
exception of contraband of war. 

3. Neutral goods, with the exception of contraband 
of war, are not liable to capture under an enemy's flag. 

4. Blockades to be binding must be effective, that 
is, must be maintained by a force sufficient to guard 
the entrance to the port or ports, and must be contin- 

Obligations of Neutrals. — Neutral States must not give 
aid to either belligerent. This does not debar the citizens 


of neutral States from trading with belligerents even to the 
extent of sending them contraband of war, but a neutral 
State must exercise due care that no expeditions be fitted 
out within its domains against a friendly power, and a 
neutral State must not itself sell war-ships or other contra- 
band of war to a belligerent. Ships of w^ar of belligerent 
States may enter neutral ports, but ordinarily may not 
remain more than twenty-four hours, and must not take 
on coal beyond the amount necessary to take them to the 
nearest home port. 

Treaties of Peace. — A war is formally ended by a treaty 
of peace, which is binding w'hen signed by both parties. 
A suspension of hostilities is usual when peace negotiations 
have been opened. 

International Arbitration. — War should never be re- 
sorted to unless all other means of settling international 
difficulties have been tried and have failed. As courts of 
law settle disputes between individuals, so international 
courts of arbitration may terminate most international 

The International Peace Conference, which met at 
The Hague in 1899, included representatives of all the 
great powers and of many of the minor powers. The 
representatives agreed upon a treaty, afterward ratified by 
all of the powers represented, the most important provision 
of which established a Permanent International Court of 
Arbitration. This court has permanent headquarters at 
The Hague, and each government which is a party to the 
agreement may name four persons to be members of the 
court for a term of six years. In case of a dispute between 
States, arbitrators may be selected from this court, and 


their decisions are morally binding. Though no restric- 
tion upon the action of States was taken, it was agreed that 
in the absence of other arrangements, disputes should be 
referred to five arbitrators, two of whom were to be named 
by each State concerned in the question, and these four 
were to choose a fifth. In case difficulty should arise in 
choosing the fifth arbitrator, he might be chosen by the 
chief executive of a power mutually agreed upon, or by 
the chief executives of two powers, one of whom might 
be named by each disputant. The American delegates 
approved the treaty subject to the proviso that ''nothing 
contained in this convention shall be so construed as to 
require the United States of America to depart from its 
traditional policy of not intruding upon, interfering with, 
or entangling itself in, the political questions or internal 
administration of any foreign State; nor shall anything 
contained in the said convention be so construed as to 
require the relinquishment by the United States of America 
of its traditional attitude towards purely American^ ques- 


1. Define common law, statute law, and equity. 

2. Show the distinction between real and personal property. 

3. What is a contract ? What conditions are necessary in order 
to make a contract binding? 

' 4. Explain the nature of mortgages. 

5. What is a promissory note? 

6. How does international law differ from municipal law? 

7. What rules govern the actions of belligerents? 

8. State the provisions of the Declaration of Paris? 

9. What is The Hague Court of Arbitration? 

^ "American" here refers to both South America and North 



1. Refer to a dictionary for the meaning of the term "corpora- 
tion." How does a corporation differ from a partnership? How 
much of the business in your community is conducted by corpora- 

2. Why are regulations concerning the transfer of real estate 
more exact and formal than rules concerning the transfer of per- 
sonal property ? 

3. Should there be uniform divorce laws throughout the United 

4. Is war a necessary evil in the present state of civilization? 


Dole, '' Talks about Law." 
Robinson, " Elementary Law." 
Spencer, " Commercial Law." 
-Davis, " International Law." 





Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unio7i between the States 
of New IIa7?ipshi?'e, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and 
Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New fersey, 
Pe?msylvania, Delazva?'e, Mary la fid, Virgitiia, North Carolifia, 
South Carolina, and Georgia. 

Article I. — The style of this Confederacy shall be, "The 
United States of America." 

Art. II. — Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and 
independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which 
is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United 
States in Congress assembled. 

Art. III. — The said States hereby severally enter into a 
firm league of friendship with each other, for their common de- 
fense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and gen- 
eral welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all 
force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on 
account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense 

Art. IV. — The better to secure and perpetuate mutual 
friendship and intercourse among the people of the different 
States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these 
States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, 
shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens 
in the several States ; and the people of each State shall have 
free ingress and egress to and from any other State, and shall 
enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce subject 
to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants 



thereof respectively ; provided that such restrictions shall not 
extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported 
into any State to any other State of which the owner is an in- 
habitant; provided also, that no imposition, duties, or restric- 
tion shall be laid by any State on the property of the United 
States or either of them. If any person guilty of, or charged 
with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any State 
shall flee from justice and be found in any of the United States, 
he shall, upon demand of the governor or executive power of the 
State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the 
State having jurisdiction of his offense. Full faith and credit 
shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts, and 
judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other 

Art. V. — For the more convenient management of the 
general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annu- 
ally appointed in such manner as the Legislature of each State 
shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in Novem- 
ber, in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall 
its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to 
send others in their stead for the remainder of the year. No . 
State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by 
more than seven members ; and no person shall be capable of 
being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six 
years ; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of 
holding any office under the United States for which he, or 
another for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument 
of any kind. Each State shall maintain its own delegates in 
any meeting of the States and while they act as members of 
the Committee of the States. In determining questions in the 
United States, in Congress assembled, each State shall have one 
vote. Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be 
impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Congress ; 
and the members of Congress shall be protected in their per- 
sons from arrests and imprisonment during the time of their 


going to and from, and attendance on, Congress, except for 
treason, felony, or breach of the peace. 

Art. VI. — No State, without the consent of the United 
States, in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or 
receive any embassy from, or enter into any conference, agree- 
ment, alliance, or treaty with any king, prince, or State ; nor 
shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the 
United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolu- 
ment, office, or title of any kind whatever from any king, prince, 
or foreign State ; nor shall the United States, in Congress as- 
sembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility. 

No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confeder- 
ation, or alliance whatever between them, without the consent 
of the United States, in Congress assembled, specifying accu- 
rately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, 
and how long it shall continue. 

No State shall lay any imposts or duties which may interfere 
with any stipulations in treaties entered into by the United 
States, in Congress assembled, with any king, prince, or State, 
in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress to 
the courts of France and Spain. 

No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any 
State, except such number only as shall be deemed necessary 
by the United States, in Congress assembled, for the defense 
of such State or its trade, nor shall any body of forces be kept 
up by any State in time of peace, except such number only as, 
in the judgment of the United States, in Congress assembled, 
shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the 
defense of such State ; but every State shall always keep up a 
well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and 
accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use 
in public stores a due number of field-pieces and tents, and a 
proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage. 

No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the 
United States, in Congress assembled, unless such State be 


actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain ad- 
vice of a resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to 
invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to ad- 
mit of a delay till the United States, in Congress assembled, 
can be consulted ; nor shall any State grant commissions to 
any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, 
except it be after a declaration of war by the United States, in 
Congress assembled, and then only against the kingdom or 
State, and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so 
declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by 
the United States, in Congress assembled, unless such State be 
infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted 
out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall con- 
tinue, or until the United States, in Congress assembled, shall 
determine otherwise. 

Art. VII. — When land forces are raised by any State for 
the common defense, all officers of or under the rank of Colonel 
shall be appointed by the Legislature of each State respec- 
tively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner 
as such State shall direct, and all vacancies shall be filled up 
by the State which first made the appointment. 

Art. VIII. — All charges of war, and all other expenses that 
shall be incurred for the common defence, or general welfare, 
and allowed by the United States, in Congress assembled, shall 
be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied 
by the several States in proportion to the value of all land within 
each State, granted to, or surveyed for, any person, as such 
land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be 
estimated, according to such mode as the United States, in 
Congress assembled, shall, from time to time, direct and ap- 
point. The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and 
levied by the authority and direction of the Legislatures of the 
several States, within the time agreed upon by the United 
States, in Congress assembled. 

Art. IX. — The United States, in Congress assembled, shall 


have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on 
peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth 
Article; of sending and receiving ambassadors; entering into 
treaties and alliances, provided that no treat>^ of commerce 
shall be made, whereby the legislative power of the respective 
States shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and 
duties on foreigners as their own people are subjected to, or 
from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species 
of goods or commodities whatever; of establishing rules for 
deciding, in all cases, what captures on land and water shall 
be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval 
forces in the service of the United States shall be divided or 
appropriated; of granting letters of marque and reprisal in 
times of peace ; appointing courts for tlie trial of piracies and 
felonies committed on the high seas; and establishing courts 
for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of 
captures; provided that no member of Congress shall be 
appointed a judge of any of the said courts. 

The United States, in Congress assembled, shall also be the 
last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences now sub- 
sisting, or that hereafter may arise between two or more States 
concerning boundary jurisdiction, or any other cause whatever ; 
which authority shall always be exercised in the manner follow- 
ing : \Mienever the legislative or executive authority, or lawful 
agent of any State in controversy with another, shall present 
a petition to Congress, stating the matter in question, and 
praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order 
of Congress to the legislative or executive authority of the 
other State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appear- 
ance of the parties by their lawful agents, who shall then be 
directed to appoint, by joint consent, commissioners or judges 
to constitute a court for hearing and determining the matter in 
question ; but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name three 
persons out of each of the United States, and from the list of 
such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the peti- 


tioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen ; 
and from that number not less than seven nor more than nine 
names, as Congress shall direct, shall, in the presence of Con- 
gress, be drawn out by lot ; and the persons whose names shall , 
be so drawn, or any five of them, shall be commissioners or 
judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always 
as a major part of the judges who shall hear the cause shall 
agree in the determination ; and if either party shall neglect 
to attend at the day appointed, without showing reasons which 
Congress shall judge sufficient, or being present, shall refuse 
to strike, the Congress shall proceed to nominate three persons 
out of each State, and the secretary of Congress shall strike in 
behalf of such party absent or refusing; and the judgment and j 
sentence of the court, to be appointed in the manner before 
prescribed, shall be final and conclusive ; and if any of the 
parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or 
to appear or defend their claim or cause, the court shall never- 
theless proceed to pronounce sentence or judgment, which shall 
in like manner be final and decisive ; the judgment or sentence 
and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to 
Congress, and lodged among the acts of Congress for the 
security of the parties concerned ; provided, that every commis- 
sioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath, to be 
administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior 
court of the State where the cause shall be tried, " well and 
truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according 
to the best of his judgment, without favor, affection, or hope 
of reward." Provided, also, that no State shall be deprived of 
territory for the benefit of the United States. 

All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed 
under different grants of two or more States, whose jurisdictions, 
as they may respect such lands, and the States which passed 
such grants are adjusted, the said grants or either of them 
being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent 
to such settlement of jurisdiction, shall, on the petition of either 


party to the Congress of the United States, be finally deter- 
mined, as near as may be, in the same manner as is before 
prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdic- 
tion between different States. 

The United States, in Congress assembled, shall also have 
the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy 
and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of 
the respective States ; fixing the standard of weights and meas- 
ures throughout the United States ; regulating the trade and 
managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of 
the States; provided that the legislative right of any State, 
within its own limits, be not infringed or violated ; establishing 
and regulating post-offices from one State to another, through- 
out all the United States, and exacting such postage on the 
papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray 
the expenses of the said office ; appointing all officers of the 
land forces in the service of the United States, excepting 
regimental oflicers ; appointing all the officers of the naval 
forces, and commissioning all oflicers whatever in the service 
of the United States; making rules for the government and 
regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their 

The United States, in Congress assembled, shall have author- 
ity to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of Congress, to 
be denominated " A Committee of the States," and to consist 
of one delegate from each State, and to appoint such other 
committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing 
the general affairs of the United States under their direction ; 
to appoint one of their number to preside ; provided that no 
person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than 
one year in any term of three years ; to ascertain the necessary 
sums of money to be raised for the service of the United States, 
and to appropriate and apply the sam.e for defraying the public 
expenses ; to borrow money or emit bills on the credit of the 
United States, transmitting every half year to the respective 


States an account of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted ; 
to build and equip a navy ; to agree upon the number of land 
forces, and to make requisitions from each State for its quota, 
in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State, 
which requisition shall be binding ; and thereupon the Legisla- 
ture of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the 
men, and clothe, arm, and equip them in a soldier-like manner, 
at the expense of the United States ; and the officers and men 
so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the place 
appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States, 
in Congress assembled ; but if the United States, in Congress 
assembled, shall, on consideration of circumstances, judge 
proper that any State should not raise men, or should raise a 
smaller number than its quota, and that any other State should 
raise a greater number of men than the quota thereof, such 
extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed, and 
equipped in the same manner as the quota of such State, unless 
the Legislature of such State shall judge that such extra number 
cannot be safely spared out of the same, in which case they 
shall raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip as many of such extra 
number as they judge can be safely spared, and the officers 
and men so clothed, armed, and equipped shall march to the 
place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United 
States, in Congress assembled. 

The United States, in Congress assembled, shall never en- 
gage in a war, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time 
of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin 
money, nor regulate the value thereof, nor ascertain the sums 
and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the 
United States, or any of them, nor emit bills, nor borrow money 
on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor 
agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or pur- 
chased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor 
appoint a commander-in-chief of the army or navy, unless nine 
States assent to the same nor shall a question on any other 



point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined, 
unless by the votes of a majority of the United States, in 
Congress assembled. 

The Congress of the United States shall have power to ad- 
journ to any time within the year, and to any place within the 
United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer 
duration than the space of six months, and shall publish the 
journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof 
relating to treaties, alliances, or military operations as in their 
judgment require secrecy ; and the yeas and nays of the dele- 
gates of each State, on any question, shall be entered on the 
journal when it is desired by any delegate ; and the delegates 
of a State, or any of them, at his or their request, shall be fur- 
nished with a transcript of the said journal except such parts as 
are above excepted, to lay before the legislatures of the several 

Art. X. — The committee of the States, or any nine of them, 
shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such 
of the powers of Congress as the United States, in Congress 
assembled, by the consent of nine States, shall, from time 
to time, think expedient to vest them with; provided that no 
power be delegated to the said committee, for the exercise of 
which, by the Articles of Confederation, the voice of nine States 
in the Congress of the United States assembled is requisite. 

Art. XL — Canada, acceding to this confederation, and join- 
ing in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted 
into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union ; but no 
other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such 
admission be agreed to by nine States. 

Art. XII. — All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, 
and debts contracted by or under the authority of Congress, 
before the assembling of the United States, in pursuance of the 
present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a 
charge against the United States, for payment and satisfaction 
whereof the said United States and the public faith are hereby 
solemnly pledged 


Art. XIII. — Every State shall abide by the determinations 
of the United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions 
which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the 
articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by 
every State, and the .Union shall be perpetual ; nor shall any 
alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless 
such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, 
and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State. 

And whereas it hath pleased the great Governor of the 
world to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively 
represent in Congress to approve of, and to authorize us to 
ratify, the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, 
know ye, that we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the 
power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these 
presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constitu- 
ents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the 
said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and 
singular the matters and things therein contained. And we do 
further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective 
constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the 
United States, in Congress assembled, on all questions which by 
the said confederation are submitted to them ; and that the 
Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we 
respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual. 
In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Con- 
gress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania 
the ninth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and seventy-eighty and in the third year of 
the independence of America. 




We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more 
perfect union^ estabUsh justice, insure domestic tranquilUty, pro- 
vide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and 
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do 
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of 

Article I. Legislative Department 
Section I. Congress in Gefieral. 

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a 
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate 
and House of Representatives. 

Section II. House of Representatives 

1. The House of Representatives shall be composed of mem- 
bers chosen every second year by the people of the several 
States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifica- 
tions requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the 
State legislature. 

2. No person shall be a representative who shall not have 
attained the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a 
citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, 
be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. 

3. [Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned 
among the several States which may be included within this 
Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be 
determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, in- 
cluding those bound to service for a term of years, and exclud- 
ing Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.^] The 
actual enumeration shall be made within three .years after the 
first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within 
every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they 
shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not 

^ Modified by abolition of slavery. 


exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have 
at least one representative ; and until such enumeration shall 
be made, the state of Neiu Hainpshire shall be entitled to choose 
three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Is/and and Proiidence J^/anta- 
tions one, Cojmecticiit five. New York six, New Jersey four, 
Feiinsylva7iia eight, Dehnvare one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, 
North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three. 

4. When vacancies happen in the representation from any 
State, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election 
to fill such vacancies. 

5. The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker 
and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeach 

Sectiofi III. Senate. 

1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two 
senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof, for 
six years ; and each senator shall have one vote. 

2. Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence 
of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be 
into three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class 
shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year ; of the 
second class, at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the 
third class, at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third 
may be chosen every second year ; and if vacancies happen by 
resignation or otherwise during the recess of the legislature of 
any State, the executive thereof may make temporary appoint- 
ments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then 
fill such vacancies. 

3. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained 
to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the 
United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabit- 
ant of that State for which he shall be chosen. 

4. The Vice-President of the United States shall be President 
of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally 


5. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a 
President pro fempore in the absence of the Vice-President, or 
when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States. 

6. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeach- 
ments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or 
affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, 
the Chief Justice shall preside : and no person shall be convicted 
without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. 

7. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further 
than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and 
enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United 
States ; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable 
and subject to indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, 
according to law. 

Section IV. Both Houses. 

1. The times, places, and manner of holding elections for 
senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State 
by the legislature thereof ; but the Congress may at any time 
by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places 
of choosing senators. 

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, 
and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, 
unless they shall by law appoint a different day. 

Section V. The Houses Separately . 

1. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, 
and qualifications of its ov/n members, and a majority of each 
shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number 
may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel 
the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under 
such penalties, as each house may provide. 

2. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, 
punish its members for disorderly behavior, and with the 
concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. 


3. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and 
from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as 
may in their judgment require secrecy, and the yeas and nays 
of the members of either house on any question shall, at the 
desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal. 

4. Neither house, during the session of Congress, shall, with- 
out the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, 
nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall 
be sitting. 

Section VI. Privileges a?id Disabilities of Members. 

1. The senators and representatives shall receive a compen- 
sation for their -services, to be ascertained by law and paid out 
of the treasury of the United States. They shall, in all cases 
except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged 
from arrest during their attendance at the session of their re- 
spective houses, and in going to and returning from the same ; 
and for any speech or debate in either house they shall not be 
questioned in any other place. 

2. No senator or representative shall, during the time for 
which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under 
the authority of the United States, which shall have been 
created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased 
during such time ; and no person holding any office under the 
United States shall be a member of either house during his 
continuance in office. 

Section VII. Mode of Passing laws. 

1. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House 
of Representatives ; but the Senate may propose or concur with 
amendments as on other bills. 

2. Every bill which shall have passed the House of Repre- 
sentatives and the Senate shall, before it become a law, be 
presented to the President of the United States ; if he approve 
he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections 


to that house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter 
the objections at large on their journal and proceed to recon- 
sider it. If after such reconsideration two-thirds of that house 
shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the 
objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise 
be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that house 
it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both 
houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names 
of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered 
on the journal of each house respectively. If any bill shall not 
be returned by the President '.vithin ten days (Sundays excepted) 
after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a 
law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress 
by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall 
not be a law. 

3. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence 
of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary 
(except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to 
the President of the United States ; and before the same shall 
take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by 
him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of 
Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed 
in the case of a bill. 

Section VIII. Fozvefs Granted to Cojigress. 

The Congress shall have power : 

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to 
pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general 
welfare of the United States ; but all duties, imposts, and 
excises shall be uniform throughout the United States ; 

2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States ; 

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations and among 
the several States, and with the Indian tribes ; 

4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform 
laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States ; 


5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign 
coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures ; 

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the secu- 
rities and current coin of the United States ; 

7. To establish post-ofiices and post-roads; 

8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts by 
securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive 
right to their respective writings and discoveries ; 

9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court. 

10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on 
the high seas and offenses against the law of nations ; 

11. To declare w^ar, grant letters of marque and reprisal, 
and make rules concerning captures on land and water : 

13. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of 
money to that use shall be for a longer term than two 
years : 

13. To provide and maintain a navy : 

14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the 
land and naval forces. 

15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the 
laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions: 

16. To pro\nde for organizing, arming, and disciplining the 
militia, and for governing such part of them as may be em- 
ployed in the sen-ice of the United" States, resening to the 
States respectivelv the appointment of the otticers, and the 
authorit}- of training the militia according to the discipline 
prescribed by Congress: 

17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever 
over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by 
cession of particular States and the acceptance of Congress, be- 
come the seat of the government of the United States, and to 
exercise like authorit}- over all places purchased by the consent 
of the legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for 
the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other 
needful buildings : and 


18. To make all laws which shall be necessar}- and proper 
for carr}'ing into execution the foregoing powers, and all other 
powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the 
United States, or in any department or officer thereof.^ 

Sectio?i IX. Poti<e?'s De?iied to the United States. 

1. The migration or importation of such persons as any of 
the States now existing shall think proper to admit shall not be 
prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight 
hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such 
importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person. 

2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be 
suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the 
public safet}- may require it. 

3. No bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be 

4. No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in 
proportion to the census or enumeration hereinbefore directed 
to be taken. 

5. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any 

6. No preference shall be given by anv regulation of com- 
merce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of an- 
other ; nor shall vessels bound to or from one State be obliged 
to enter, clear, or pay duties in another. 

7. No money shall be drawn from the Treasun,- but in con- 
sequence of appropriations made by law: and a regular state- 
ment and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public 
money shall be published from time to time. 

8. No title of nobilit}- shall be granted by the United States; 
and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them 
shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any pres- 
ent, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any 
king, prince, or foreign State. 

^ This is the • Ela-^tic Claiise." 


Section X. Powers Denied to the States. 

1. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confedera- 
tion ; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit 
bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender 
in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto 
law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any 
title of nobility. 

2. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any 
imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be 
absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the 
net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State on im- 
ports or exports, shall be for the use of the Treasury of the 
United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision 
and control of the Congress. 

3. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any 
duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, 
enter into any agreement or compact with another State or with 
a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded or in 
such imminent danger as will not admit of delay. 

Article II. Executive Department 

Sectio7i I. President and Vice-President. 

1. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the 
United States of America. He shall hold his office durino: the 
term of four years, and together with the Vice-President, chosen 
for the same term, be elected as follows : 

2. Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature 
thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole 
number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may 
be entitled in the Congress ; but no Senator or Representative, 
or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United 
States, shall be appointed an elector. 

3. [The electors shall meet in their respective States and vote 


by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an 
inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall 
make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of 
votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and trans- 
mit sealed to the seat of government of the United States, 
directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the 
Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Rep- 
resentatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then 
be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes 
shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the 
whole number of electors appointed; and if there be more than 
one who have such majority, and have an equal number of 
votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately 
choose by ballot one of them for President ; and if no person 
have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said 
House shall in like manner choose the President. But in 
choosing the President the votes shall be taken by States, the 
representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for 
this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two- 
thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be 
necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the 
President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the 
electors shall be the Vice-President. But if there should remain 
two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from 
them by ballot the Vice-President.] ^ ' 

4. The Congress may determine the time of choosing the 
electors and the day on which they shall give their votes, which 
day shall be the same throughout the United States. 

5. No person except a natural-born citizen, or a citizen of the 
United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, 
shall be eligible to the office of President ; neither shall any 
person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to 
the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident 
within the United States. 

^ Amended. See Amendments Art. XII. 


6. In case of the removal of the President from office, or of 
his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and 
duties of the said ofhce, the same shall devolve on the Vice- 
President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of 
removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President 
and Vice-President, declaring what officer shall then act as 
President, and such officer shall act accordingly until the dis- 
ability be removed or a President shall be elected. 

7. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services 
a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished 
during the period for which he may have been elected, and he 
shall not receive within that period any other emolument from 
the United States or any of them. 

8. Before he enter on the execution of his office he shall take 
the following oath or affirmation : 

'' I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute 
the office of President of the United States, and will to the best 
of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of 
the United States." 

Sectioti II. Powers of the President. 

1. The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several 
States when called into the actual service of the United States ; 
he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in 
each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to 
the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power 
to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United 
States, except in cases of impeachment. 

2, He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the sen- 
ators present concur ; and he shall nominate, and, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassa- 
dors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme 
Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appoint- 


ments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be 
established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the 
appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in 
the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of 

3. The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies 
that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting 
commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session. 

Section III. Duties of the Presidejit. 

He shall from time to time give to the Congress information 
of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration 
such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient ; he 
may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both houses, or either 
of them, and in case of disagreement between them with respect 
to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time 
as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and 
other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the 
United States. 

Section IV. Impeachment. 

The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the 
United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for 
and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and 

Article III. Judicial Department 
Section I United States Courts. 

The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in 
one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress 
may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both 
of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices dur- 
ing good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their 


services a compensation which shall not be diminished during 
their continuance in office. 

Section II. Jurisdiction of the United States Courts. 

1. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and 
equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United 
States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their 
authority ; to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public min- 
isters, and consuls ; to all cases of admiralty and maritime juris- 
diction ; to controversies to which the United States shall be a 
party ; to controversies between two or more States ; between a 
State and citizens of another State ; between citizens of differ- 
ent States ; between citizens of the same State claiming lands 
under grants of different States, and between a State, or the 
citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens, or subjects.^ 

2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers 
and consuls, and those in which a State shall be a party, the 
Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other 
cases before mentioned the Supreme Court shall have appellate 
jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and 
under such regulations as the Congress shall make. 

3. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, 
shall be by jury ; and such trial shall be held in the State where 
the said crimes shall have been committed ; but when not com- 
mitted within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places 
as the Congress may by law have directed. 

Section III Treaso?i. 

1. Treason against the United States shall consist only in 
levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giv- 
ing them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of 
treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same 
overt act, or on confession in open court. 

2. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment 

^ This clause has been amended. See Amendments, Art. XL 


of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of 
blood or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted. 

Article IV. The States and the Federal Government 
Section I. State Records. 

Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public 
acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other State. 
And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner 
in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, 
and the effect thereof. 

Section II. Privileges of Citizens^ etc. 

1 . The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges 
and immunities of citizens in the several States. 

2. A person charged in any State with treason, felony, or 
other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another 
State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State 
from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State 
having jurisdiction of the crime. 

3. No person held to service or labor in one State, under 
the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence 
of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such 
service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the 
party to whom such service or labor may be due.^ 

Sectio7i III New States and Territories. 

1. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this 
Union ; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the 
jurisdiction of any other State ; nor any State be formed by the 
junction of two or more States or parts of States, without 
the consent of the legislatures of the States concerned as well 
as of the Congress. 

2. The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make 

^ Annulled by the abolition of slavery. 


all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or 
other property belonging to the United States ; and nothing 
in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prejudice any 
claims of the United States or of any particular State. 

Section IV. Guarantee to the States. 

The United States shall guarantee to every state in this 
Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each 
of them against invasion, and on application of the legislature, 
or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), 
against domestic violence. 

Article V. Power of Amendment 

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem 
it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, 
on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several 
States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which 
in either case shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part 
of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three- 
fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three-fourths 
thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be 
proposed by the Congress, provided that no amendments which 
may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and 
eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in 
the ninth section of the first article ; and that no State, without 
its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the senate. 

Article VI. Public Debt, Supremacy of the Consti- 
tution, Oath of Office, Religious Test 

1. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before 
the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the 
United States under this Constitution as under the Confedera- 

2. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States 


which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, 
or which shall be made, under the authority of the United 
States, shall be the supreme law of the land ; and the judges 
in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Consti- 
tution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. 

3. The senators and representatives before mentioned, and 
the members of the several State legislatures, and all executive 
and judicial officers both of the United States and of the 
several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support 
this Constitution ; but no religious test shall ever be required 
as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United 

Article VII. Ratification of the Constitution 

The ratification of the conventions of nine States shall be 
sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the 
States so ratifying the same. 

Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the States 
present,^ the seventeenth day of September, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, 
and of the Independence of the United States of America 
the twelfth. In witness whereof, we have hereunto sub- 
scribed our names. 

George Washington, President, and Deputy from Virginia. 
New Hampshire — John Langdon, Nicholas Oilman. 
Massachusetts — Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King. 
Connecticut — William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman. 
New York — Alexander Hamilton. 
New Jersey — William Livingston, David Brearly, William 

Patterson, Jonathan Dayton. 
Pennsylvania — Benjamin Frankhn, Thomas Mifflin, Robert 

Morris, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Jared Ingersoll, 

James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris. 

^ Rhode Island sent no delegates to the Federal Convention. 


Delaware — George Read, Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Dick- 
inson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom. 

Maryland — James McHenry, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, 
Daniel Carroll. 

Virginia — John Blair, James Madison, Jr. 

North Carolina — William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, 
Hugh Williamson. 

South Carolina — John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinck- 
ney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler. 

Georgia — William Few, Abraham Baldwin. 

Attest : William Jackson, Secretary. 

amendmp:nts * 

Article I. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of 
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging 
the freedom of speech or of the press ; or the right of the people 
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a 
redress of grievances. 

Article II. 

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a 
free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall 
not be infringed. 

Article III. 

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house 
without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a 
manner to be prescribed by law. 

Article IV. 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, 
papers,' and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, 

^The first ten Amendments were proposed in the First Congress and 
declared in force Dec. 15, 1791. 


shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon 
probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly 
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things 
to be seized. 

Article V. 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise 
infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a 
grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, 
or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public 
danger ; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense 
to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor shall be com- 
pelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor 
be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of 
law ; nor shall private 'property be taken for public use without 
just compensation. 

Article VI. 

In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right 
to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State 
and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which 
district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to 
be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation ; to be 
confronted with the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory 
process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the 
assistance of counsel for his defense. 

Article VII. 

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy 
shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be 
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexam- 
ined in any court of the United States, than according to the 
rules of the common law. 

Article VIII. 

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines im- 
posed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 


Article IX. 

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall 
not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the 

Article X. 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Con- 
stitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the 
states respectively or to the people. 

Article XI. ^ 

The judicial power of the United States shall not be con- 
strued to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or 
prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of 
another State, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign State. 

Article XII.^ 

I. The electors shall meet in their respective States and vote 
by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at 
least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with them- 
selves ; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as 
President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice- 
President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted 
for as President and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, 
and of the number of votes for each ; which lists they shall sign 
and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government 
of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. 
The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate 
and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the 
votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest 
number of votes for President shall be the President, if such 
number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed ; 

' Proposed by Congress March 5, 1794, and declareci in force Jan. 8, 1798. 
2 Proposed by Congress Dec. 12, 1803, and declared in force Sept. 25, 


and if no person have such majority, then from the persons 
having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the Ust of 
those voted for as President, the House of Representatives 
shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in 
choosing the President the votes shall be taken by States, the 
representation from each State having one vote ; a quorum for 
this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two- 
thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be 
necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives 
shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall 
devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next follow- 
ing, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the 
case of the death or other constitutional disability of the 

2 . The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice- 
President shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a ma- 
jority of the whole number of electors appointed; and if no 
person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on 
the list the Senate shall choose the Vice-President ; a quorum 
for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number 
of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be neces- 
sary to a choice. 

3. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of 
President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the 
United States. 

Article XIII. ^ 

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a 
punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly 
convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place 
subject to their jurisdiction. 

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 

1 Proposed by Congress Feb. i, 1865, and declared in force Dec. 18, 


Article XIV.^ 

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and 
subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United 
States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall 
make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or 
immunities of citizens of the United States ; nor shall any State 
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due 
process of law ; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction 
the equal protection of the laws. 

2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several 
States according to their respective numbers, counting the 
whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not 
taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the 
choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United 
States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial 
officers of a State, or the members of the legislature thereof, is 
denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being 
twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in 
any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other 
crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in 
the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall 
bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of 
age in such State. 

3. No person shall be a senator or representative in Con- 
gress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any 
office, civil or military, under the United States or under any 
State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of 
Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member 
of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of 
any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, 
shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the 
same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But 

' Proposed by Congress June 16, 1866, and declared in force July 28, 



Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove 
such disabihty. 

4. The vaUdit>^ of the pubhc debt of the United States, au- 
thorized by law. including debts incurred for payment of pen- 
sions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or 
rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States 
nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation in- 
curred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United 
States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave ; 
but all such debts, obligations, and claims shall be held illegal 
and void. 

5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appro- 
priate legislation, the provisions of this article. 

Article XV.^ 

I. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not 
be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on 
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. 
. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by 
appropriate legislation. 




Alabama . . . 
Arkansas. . . 

California . . 
Colorado . . . 
Delaware . . . 
Florida . . . . 
Georgia . . , . 



Indiana . . . . 



































1 Proposed by Congress Feb. 26, 1869, and declared in force March 30, 










Massachusetts . . 








New Hampshire 
New Jersey .... 

New York 

North Carolina. 
North Dakota. . 



Pennsylvania. . . 
Rhode Island . . 
South Carolina. 
South Dakota. . 






Washington . . . 
West Virginia. . 









































































New Mexico 



APR i 4 1S3-